To build or not to build? That is the question in business around the world, where enterprise software is necessary but funds are often limited.

Enterprise software can be hugely expensive, and it can be overly complicated and cumbersome for smaller businesses, requiring hours of training for employees who use it. In the U.S. alone, companies spend more than $12 billion a year on maintenance for software that never gets used, according to a 2009 poll by Kelton Research. But building software from scratch can be equally daunting. Full-time employees with the chops are expensive and sometimes hard to find, and often there just isn’t time for development cycles.

One thing’s for sure: The need isn’t going away.

In January 2014, Gartner predicted that IT spending would increase more than 3% in 2014 to $3.7 trillion. The biggest increase by percentage is IT software, expected to rise 6.8% to $320 billion.

Enterprise Software

2013 Spending
$300B

2013 Growth
5.2%
 
2014 Spending
$320B
 
2014 Growth
6.8%
 

Companies that want software built to their specifications quickly and inexpensively, without coding, are turning to a build your own software (BYOD) approach that relies on licensing a powerful but simple platform.

In this context, simplicity refers to ease of use, not to lack of functionality. Here are some things to consider:

Simplicity
Coding software by hand is risky, expensive and time-consuming. A vendor that offers drag-and-drop functionality for tailoring features and processes will make your life easier.

Begin your software creation in the way that suits you best: tailoring an existing application, converting a simple spreadsheet, or building software somewhat from scratch with a drag-and-drop function.

Functionality
Don’t compromise functionality just because you’re not licensing a major enterprise application. You should be able to do things like automating business activities by setting triggers and alerts. One of the nice things about an application builder as opposed to a point solution is that you can build it to do anything from project management to scheduling to file sharing to CRM.

Mobility
We live in a mobile world. More than half of the respondents in a 2014 Aruba Networks survey said they would rather work remotely 2-3 days a week than receive a 10% raise. According to Forrester Research, 55% of enterprises already provide some support for employees’ own devices and 46% of enterprises believe it is critical to implement a BYOD program in the immediate future.

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So make sure your vendor provides apps for mobile platforms – or at least a responsive web-enabled app.

An Ideal Solution
With Kintone, you can add applications three different ways. First, add applications easily from a marketplace of 23 pre-built applications. Second, upload a spreadsheet and convert it into an application that you can share with real-time charts and graphs. Third, build an application from scratch, but use a drag-and-drop form builder instead of hand-coding.

No matter how you build your application, you can customize it with the drag-and-drop form builder to create new applications and solve virtually any business need. Add workflows, forms, business processes, anything, and add your applications to specific workspaces of your choosing. Visit us for a free trial.

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