Desktop applications are applications that can run on a desktop or laptop computer as opposed to web based applications that run over the internet or mobile applications that run on a mobile device such as a smartphone or a tablet.
When you need more than is available from mass market commercial desktop application, the solution is likely to be bespoke desktop applications. When applications are developed for a specific customer, they can accommodate the specific requirements and preferences of that customer and remove the need to make compromises. An additional advantage is that they be extended and modified in the future in line with changing business requirements.
Worldwide huge numbers of enterprises rely on bespoke desktop applications to ensure the smooth running of their businesses in many different areas and functions. These range from simple business support tools to highly complex database applications.
An alternative to Off-the-Shelf applications
While it is the case that many organisations get by using Off-the-Shelf desktop applications, and that these deliver many of the enterprise’s requirements, in many instances there is the need to work in different ways that Off-the-Shelf applications are unable to handle. While it might be possible to tailor the way the business works to the applications that are available, in many cases it is better to tailor the software so that the business can work in the optimum and most efficient manner. Bespoke desktop applications can created around current working methods, which means that there is a much easier learning curve for employees to climb; they can also incorporate the terminology that is used in specific organisations, again reducing training times and increasing productivity.
Another problem with very many Off-the-Shelf desktop applications is product bloating. Take for example a popular office application such as Word; it is designed to provide as universal a solution as possible to all conceivable word processing requirements so that it achieves a maximum possible audience and sales; but while that is good for Microsoft there are so many complex features that it is far too sophisticated an application for somebody who just wishes to create a simple document. The result is that all those features reduce productivity rather than enhance it, and there is a new learning curve to be climbed each time a new version of the programme is published. Ideally a bespoke desktop application will include only those features that are required for the business, with an optimised user interface; though it will have to flexibility for new features to be added if and when they are required.
Compromise solutions are often possible, for instance bespoke desktop applications may be used to make use of Off-the-Shelf applications, perhaps by integrating a number of Off-the-Shelf applications to achieve a working solution, but in many instances this will always be a compromise and rarely delivers as satisfying a solution as developing a bespoke application from the ground up. On the other hand bespoke desktop applications are able to make use of Off-the-Shelf software, for instance database/spreadsheet software such as Microsoft Access or Excel can be used for the development of bespoke desktop database applications in which the end user doesn’t have to interface with the complexities of the underlying engines, but simply with the user-friendly interface presented by the bespoke application.
Outsourcing desktop application development
As a non-core activity it is recommended that you outsource your desktop application development projects. By outsourcing offshore, not only do you save a considerable amount of developer costs, you also access a pool of some of the most creative and skilled developers you are likely to find.
When your Off-the-Shelf desktop applications are out of kilter with the way in which your organisation wishes to do business, there is no need to change the way you do things. The better alternative is to outsource the development of desktop applications that will enable your employees to do things in ways that are good for your business, and that will enhance productivity, providing your workers with an interface that is easy to interact with, and which uses the words they are used to using.