Have we gone full circle with custom software development? For some years now, companies have pivoted to taking on standard software and configuring it to meet their requirements because of the number of failures in custom software development projects.

To a certain extent, this was a compromise. It was a way of successfully getting the technology a company needed whilst reducing the risk of project failure. Anyone who has procured technology will know it is challenging to get software that meets your needs 100% of the time, hence the compromise.

So, we started with licensing standard software. Though promising, we might have decided that standard software did not precisely meet our needs. We then embarked on the difficult journey of custom software development. As we all know, that journey can be costly when budgets overrun and can result in reputational damage when software development projects fail. The compromise, was to find standard software configured to meet the greatest proportion of our requirements and find workarounds for the rest.

Soon we may not need to comprise at all. Artificial intelligence tools are now deployed throughout the software development lifecycle. These tools made up of machine learning, deep learning, and natural language processing, all help software developers to produce high-quality software with high rates of on-time delivery and better rates of return on investment (Project Management Institute Report).

According to a Deloitte Report, AI tools can assist with gathering project requirements, work alongside software developers as they are writing code to make recommendations for lines of code, detect bugs and suggest code changes, conduct testing of software and improve project management. The Deloitte Report provides several examples of how AI tools have been used to increase the likelihood of success with custom software development. So, it may be safe again to dip our toes into the custom software development pool.

What would we advise anyone looking to engage a supplier to develop custom software?

  • Do your due diligence and enquire as to how your potential supplier runs their development team.
  • What tools do they use to ensure that they not only develop working software but do it on time and on budget?
  • Have they embraced the use of AI tools?
  • If so, what are their success rates?
  • Consider including using AI tools in software development as one of the criteria for assessing your suppliers.

It just might make the difference between success and failure.

If we can assist you with your due diligence exercise or negotiating your software development agreement, please get in touch by clicking on the link here.