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In today's business world, technology is extremely important for optimizing workflow and delivering a top-notch customer experience. One of the most critical uses of technology within any organization is the type of business software in use. From workflow management software to inventory tracking, your business is only as strong as the software that keeps it running.

If you want your business to achieve optimal performance, you'll need software that can respond effectively in times of need, and a system that suits your unique workflow. This can only be done through custom software development.

If you're ready to maximize your organization's profitability and efficiency, the next step is finding a trusted software development company. Generally, you'll consider things such as the company’s experience, portfolio, or client feedback. However, this criteria alone may not result in the right company for the job. Pay attention to the following considerations when choosing your software development team:

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As you check your daily news source each morning, you are reminded that the world is moving at what almost seems like the speed of thought. You can hardly keep up with all of the latest developments in the world of software and technology.

Now I consider myself to be a fairly early adopter when it comes to technology, but even I am left amazed at how fast the market evolves today.

One thing I have noticed lately is how the Cloud has become a major enabler of technology disruption across virtually every industry, including many traditional industries.

The question of whether to adapt to the changes sweeping American business is no longer open to debate. If you don’t change and improve, you will most likely perish, sooner rather than later.

Disruption is a process, not an event

But the real question to focus on is whether you will also be a technology disrupter to your own industry. I don’t use the term disrupter casually here. It’s a loaded term nowadays. There are those breakthrough technologies we’ve all seen, like when the iPhone...

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It’s one of the perennial challenges for companies of nearly every size, but particularly for mid-size businesses with limited IT resources: Should you outsource custom software development to an experienced software development firm or do it in-house, either through your existing team or by adding employees?

There’s no easy rule of thumb to follow, but here are a number of considerations you should weigh as you determine the path you want to take.

Pro: Provides immediate skills and expertise that your firm may lack

No matter how talented your IT team is, there are almost undoubtedly certain tech skills that your employees lack. If you’re a mid-range company, you may not have a full-time employee, or a complete team for that matter, with the specific experience necessary for the custom software development work that you need at a given moment.

Contracting with a firm is often a good alternative to asking members of your team to figure it out themselves. Not only will your employees likely take more time to complete the task, but the time...

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The majority of businesses, large and small, can benefit from using some type of business automation software. Business software can eliminate repetitive tasks, create timesheets for your employees, keep proper electronic records, automate IT backend processes, and more. No matter what industry your business is in, it's important to have the right software and processes in place to achieve optimal performance.

If you already have business software within your organization, it's important to schedule regular reviews of your automation systems to make sure your goals are being met by your current software capabilities. Take the time to interview your employees to uncover any issues they have with your software, and gather information about the performance and cost of all software being used. However, we understand that many companies simply don't have time for a lengthy software evaluation. If that's the case, watch out for the following signs that your business has outgrown your business automation software.

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Every company that’s been in business long enough has had to deal with a family of software that grows over time.

Not to worry. There are a variety of reasons why companies should not be on one single software platform. From brand new product lines and cost centers to additional reporting requirements and 3rd party software apps, a company simply can’t cover 100% of its needs with one software application.

But that doesn’t mean your software family has to be dysfunctional. Just like a real family, your software family can work in harmony to further the collective goals of the family unit, which in this case happens to be your business.

So how can you tell your software family has gone from the Brady Bunch to a particularly bad episode of the Kardashians? Fortunately, there are some signs that you can easily spot. Here are some the Clear Measure team often see:

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In our line of work, we like to think we help companies break out of jail. No, we’re not sneaking hand files hidden in sandwiches for convicted felons. When I talk to a CEO or VP of operations about their legacy business software I often get the impression that they feel trapped by what the software can (and can’t) do for them.

The fact is it’s not uncommon for a company to still run business software it may have purchased 10 or 15 years ago. Now don’t get me wrong, having a legacy system pushing past 10 years is not inherently a BAD thing. Indeed, there are perfectly good reasons why companies continue using older software, with stability being chief among them. Many companies — banks, insurance companies and other data-intensive companies come to mind — prefer the stability of an older system to one that’s cutting edge but fraught with transition risk.

The prison sentence comes into play when a company has fallen behind on maintaining and modernizing its business software. And when a company falls behind on technology it risks falling behind in other areas as well,...

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Long before HGTV came on the scene, back when I was a teenager growing up in a small town in south-east Texas, I used to love watching the PBS home renovation show “This Old House.” The show followed a team of home-building experts as they carefully renovated an older home over a few months time to build in the modern features people expect from their home.

What I loved to see was an old home like a quaint farm house with ‘good bones’ and how the team would respect the history of the home — it’s dormers, grooved heart pine flooring and ornate fireplace mantles — all the while making the home more efficient and convenient for the modern family.

They preserved the integrity of the home even as they made the home ready to serve a family’s needs for another several generations.

It’s that spirit of renovation and transformation that drew me to custom software development and to start Clear Measure. While I like building out a custom software package from the ground up as much as anybody, I do enjoy working with pre-existing business software to see how my team can...

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I’m a big fan of car shows where the host takes a regular old car, sometimes a beater, and has his crew totally transform it into a custom-designed dream car.

Shows like that remind me that buying a car doesn’t always get us 100% of what we’d like to get out of it. Sure, we get from point A to point B, but does it do the job as well as we’d like, or in the style, we’d like?

Not always. That’s where the custom body shops help us out. They add the tires and rims that impress, stereo and speakers that rock, and spoilers and paint stripes that excite.

It’s no stretch to say that business software is similar. Many companies buy a commercial off-the-shelf solution (also known as COTS) to get their basic needs fulfilled. You know, point A to point B functionality.

But oftentimes what you get is only 80-90% of what you really need to run efficiently and error-free as a business. Perhaps even more important, a solution that only meets just enough of your needs is not going the be the one that helps you out-innovate and beat the competition.

Translation? You...

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There’s a reason why marathoners say that the last mile is the hardest. They have been running for hours at their fastest pace. They have burned nearly 2,400 calories in just over 25 miles. Now, when their strength and emotions are equally sapped, they have to dig deep and somehow to find a reserve of energy for a strong finish.

After all, a marathon is 26.2 miles long, not 25.2 miles. And races are won and lost based on how quick you are for the entire race. Giving up on the last mile is just not an option.

Your last mile of business automation is no different. Emerging growth companies spend an incredible amount of resources implementing their primary computer systems — ERP, CRM, operational software. Most of these systems are commercial off-the-shelf (a.k.a., COTS) products, but some may have custom software developed exclusively for them. Still, others may have migrated to the Cloud with a SaaS (software as a service) application they no longer have to maintain on premise.

With many mid-market companies investing an average of 6-figures and months of staff...

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Asynchronous messaging in a distributed system is great! It allows for clients to move on with their lives without waiting on a response from the service. It can also enable sending messages when the service is unavailable, and help create more predictable load. However, async messaging has it’s downsides as well. It adds overhead to individual requests and unpredictable traffic could theoretically cause this service to grow it’s queue indefinitely.

Let’s assume in the following diagram that there are 4 clients and each client sends 2 messages per second to FooService. While FooService can process up to 4 messages per second.

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