As every business is different and has its objectives and requirements to meet, a custom built-software is necessary to address such unique needs.
As every business is different and has its objectives and requirements to meet, a custom built-software is necessary to address such unique needs. This doesn’t mean that you hire a software development agency and get the application built without fore-planning the different essential aspects. Building customized software is not a thing that you build to work in the present or sometime in the future. They are formulated to support the business today, tomorrow, and forever. To complement the ever-changing scenarios of business, implement solutions that improve scalability as well as flexibility.
When you have better scope for scalability and flexibility in your business software, you can expect better customer engagement. And, with better customer engagement, you can always have options to increase brand loyalty and trust among your end-users.
Custom software development process is a team effort and requires the expertise of business analysts and technical teams alike. While business analysts anticipate the expansion of business over the coming years, the technical teams are involved in devising strategies to ascertain user growth, the addition of features, and enhancement of functionalities.
Generally, the conventional approach followed by most of the business to improve scalability and flexibility with custom-built software includes the following five practices.
- Functionality Should Always Be Built Keeping Growth in Mind
Almost every software involves one or the other type of functionalities and features for its users. While some of them are used by the business staff, others are provided for the customers to access the products and services for which the software is intended.
Before beginning with the development process, it is suggested to discuss with all end-users to determine how the functionality and features to be added and programmed.
How would the features function when staff increases or a new department is introduced to the business?
If the customer base gets doubled, how to ensure the sustainability and adaptability of related functions?
There can be several other questions that may arise in your mind considering the future perspective; however, it doesn’t mean that you have to build all these features in the first version itself. You just need to leave room for expansion to manage the situation when the time arrives.
- Have a Solid Foundation for Database Infrastructure
Misconfiguration of the database has been one of the major causes of the scalability issue. Therefore, it is important to avoid this obstruction by determining the process and timing in advance to store data. Usually, in such a case, you will either need to choose the object store database or a relational database approach.
While the former is known for functioning better if you need to make changes frequently (as it allows the scalability without adding to the database complexity), going for the relational database structure allows you to access data in numerous different ways but be prepared for facing table-level locking issues.
The next thing you will need to decide is how to group your database servers. Here, you will either need to choose a multi-write server or a one-write server with read-only replica servers. While a multi-write server facilitates frequent and concurrent record changes to your database, a one-write server, on the other hand, allows you to add, update, and delete data from one server and update the changes to other servers.
The requirement of both depends on the type of job to be done. For a registration system that is designed to add more and more data as users add themselves to the database, a multi-write server will be an ideal choice. However, for a reporting system where data changes are minimal to zero, a one-write server is usually suggested.
- Keep the Scope for Web Server Load Balancing
A web server is responsible for serving information to the end-users of the software you use for your business. Here, the end-users can be both internal (business staff) or external (customers and shareholder) users.
To ensure the utmost experience for your present or potential users, make sure to formulate a strategy to manage incoming traffic for your servers (not just from the current perspective but also from the future point of view). Considering the growth and scalability, it is suggested to plan for twice or maybe as many as ten times of your current user base. Moreover, routing the new requests to the server with the least load is also an ideal way to balance the load on the webserver and ensure prompt response for each request.
- Keep the Process of Adding Features As Simple As It Can Be
To ensure the scalability of your custom-built software to match the growth rate of your business, implement strategies to efficiently improve your organizational goals. One of these strategies includes the task to keep ample scope for the addition of features to keep up with the growing needs of the users.
Another thing you need to ensure is that your development team build your software to allow for automated testing of various functionalities added or to be added. Not only will this method help find bugs with little effort, but also make the addition of new features more convenient by foregoing multiple system-wide tests for every addition of code you do in the programming.
- Annual Maintenance of the Application
For some of the organizations, the growth can sometimes occur at a very slow pace. Sometimes the nature of business is responsible for such a growth rate. It can also be caused due to the solutions being implemented in the systems to overcome the issues superficially and not for uprooting the problem underneath.
Later, when the business has no option but to deal with the same issue for keeping up the growth, it might become a massive challenge and solution to which is more than difficult to bring.
Therefore, it is best to make the annual check-up and maintenance of your business software a priority and avoid getting in a situation that may adversely affect the growth of your organization.
It is hard to predict the type of challenges your business may bring from time to time. It is wise to keep ample room for accommodating solutions for all types of issues and for those you can’t by implementing the aforementioned suggestions for building a scalable and flexible custom-built software.