Custom Application Development

Sep 30 2008   1:57PM GMT

The Economy and Custom Programs

SJC SJC Profile: SJC

Well, the DOW reached a record loss for one day of trade — we’re in a credit crunch (…so say the “experts”) — home values continue to drop in most areas — and in short, the economy is a mess! One of my favorite on-line writers (Bob Lewis) has posted a couple of great reads once again in his “Keep the Joint Running” page, articles written of course in the style of Bob’s which I find so entertaining. His posts of 9/22 and 9/29 are interesting “lessons” for IT in these questionable economic times.

Myself, I look at these tough economic times and wonder a number of things — starting with “How will this economy affect my customers?”. (…and of course as a follow-on to that, any projects which I am doing for them — and of course in turn, their ability / willingness to pay for my services.) All of these questions are something which I cannot answer at this time.

However, each of my clients has committed to making their operations streamlined through the applications which I create for them. In each case for my clients, their gain is perhaps the saving of an employee expense that might have been to handle increased volume (…or maybe requirements), but is not needed as the result of the efficiencies gained through the custom software I create for them. In tough economic times when an operation is running lean and mean every efficiency gained becomes significant.

To meet the criteria needed to justify the expense in these times, projects probably will not be ones to “pretty-up” an out-of-date application, but rather introduce productive and new functionality. I believe that even in these tough economic times there will be new opportunities of this kind for independent developers such as myself. I certainly hope so!

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  • Suzanne Wheeler
    Joe, I completely agree that companies will continue to invest in consulting services to streamline their operations. The amount they are willing to pay for it may be lacking, but I think in general the value of such upgrades will mitigate this factor. When times are tough, my company invests in itself. As a result we're the only material handling manufacturer to have conveyors wall-to-wall in our factory. We have virtually no forklifts and folks get around in golf carts and on tricycles. It's certainly a sight to see!
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