Building Your Own App Is Easier Than You Thought
Whether you run a department or an entire business, you might be sick of software. The last straw might have been when your facility manager wanted to implement an app called Toiletly. Have things gotten too out of hand?
Modern business software is everywhere, yet it never fully solves the problems you have. Something about most of the software out there makes it feel like it was made for someone else…
…because it was.
Whatever off-the-shelf solution you are trying right now was likely built by someone who had a problem similar to, but not exactly like, yours. That’s why the solution fits a little, but not all the way.
When it comes down to it, if you really want a software solution, there are only a few options.
- Buy something off-the-shelf (and adjust your own business to fit it)
- Ask your IT department to build something for you (though they likely don’t have the time)
- Wait until the market matures to offer you exactly what you need (which might take forever)
- Outsource the development (and pay way more than you should)
…or build your own app.
Why Do You Need Apps in the First Place?
When you think about the basic software tools a business or department needs to function, you usually start with something like G Suite that offers you email, spreadsheets, word processing, and more.
Most organizations try to use these inexpensive tools for as long as they can, which means most of your business processes rely on email and spreadsheets.
But eventually, you realize that a static database in Excel is not going to cut it. You need something that can do something with all the data you have. Something that can make it move and process the information on its own.
Software applications do just that. They automate simple actions and allow you to take actions much faster than you did before when you had to push around all the data by yourself.
Different Types of App Development
There are two main approaches to software development. Hand-coding means typing out every line of code one at a time and building the entire thing by scratch. Alternatively, you can use a platform to build the app on. If you don’t have hardcore coding skills, you’ll want to use a software development platform.
There are several kinds of these platforms. A general purpose development platform will let you make basically any kind of application imaginable. However, they are much more daunting to use if you are not a coder by nature. Slightly easier are mobile app development platforms that are dedicated to only making mobile apps. However, you still need to have a firm grasp on how applications are built and good design skills.
If you can narrow down on the type of application you need, you can find platforms that require no coding at all, and are easy for any business manager to use. Take business processes for example. If most of the applications you need involve taking a set of data in a form, and passing it through a series of tasks and approvals, then you can find extremely easy platforms that don’t need any programming skills.
The Advantages of Building Your Own App
When you build your own app, you are making something specifically for your department/company to use. It fits your situation exactly like a glove. For example, let’s say you really want something to help you manage your procurement processes like purchase orders or purchase requisition. You can’t use an off-the-shelf solution because you want to set up some custom steps and fields unique to your business model, and you need it connected to a vendor list. By using a business process application development platform, you can build the exact app you need and link it to your database.
When you build your own app you have full control over how it functions and you can build anything you need.
Just How Easy Is It?
If you use a tool like Kissflow to build your own app for a business process, here’s how quickly you can be up and running.
Step 1: Design a Form
Pick all the data that will be needed to process any request that comes through. This is all done easily with drag-and-drop fields. You can make any field required, calculated, or linked to a database.
Step 2: Define the Workflow
Who needs to see this data before it is considered done? Who needs to approve it? Do you have different paths based on the type of request? No problem, just create a parallel branch and now you have multiple options. Set deadlines and conditions, and then figure out who needs to see what data at each step in the workflow.
Step 3: Publish It and Go Live!
Take your new app for a test drive and see how it performs. Then grab a small group of people and ask them to test it and give you feedback. In Kissflow, making edits is extremely easy and again requires no coding at all.
Once a request is live, Kissflow takes care of routing the item to the right person and knows exactly what to do if you need to send back an item to an earlier stage in the workflow.
Why Let Someone Else Build Your Own App?
You know your business better than anyone, and there are elements of it so unique that no one will ever be able to build the perfect tool…except you. It’s time to see what it’s like to build your own app. Use a tool like Kissflow RAD to build a business process application from scratch in just a few minutes. It’s all drag-and-drop, and couldn’t be any easier. Try Kissflow today and take back control of your world!