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The Bit Garden Mission

To provide custom software solutions for small businesses

Custom solutions have traditionally been seen as the realm of large corporations. Bit Garden is aiming to change that by bringing affordable custom software development and technology services to the small business community. By developing custom solutions based on free and open source technology as well as our proprietary software libraries we can offer exceptional quality with minimal cost. To push the limits of affordability even further, we may offer leased solutions which allow our customers to spread their technology costs over time. We feel that no successful small business should be limited by a lack of cost effective software choices.

Q: Why would small businesses want custom software?

A: Custom software from Bit Garden can alleviate many of the problems that crop up as businesses adopt new software.

Lets first explore some of the many problems that arise before we look at the ways which custom software can alleviate them.

- feature set mismatches - The most common problem in new software adoption is either a lack of necessary features, or an over abundance of unnecessary features which increase price and the learning curve for users. It is not uncommon to hit both ends of this spectrum at the same time!

- needed features force a new work flow - The software has the required features, but the implementation forces a new work flow and new business practices. This can stall or even kill the adoption of a new software package.

- unexpected configuration costs - Some software packages can be configured to more closely match the work flow of a particular business. Finding the limits of a software package's configurability and implementing the best customization path usually far exceedes the planned time and expense.

- lacking worker buy in - Adopting new software always means some amount of change. Often workers are comfortable with their current business practices and are concerned that changes to their work flow will be more effort than the benefits might deserve. The less people know about an upcoming change, the greater their anxiety.

- future need prediction - Since companies know that the process of technology adoption is costly and full of potential risks, they often wish to update or adopt something that may be able to handle future needs as well as todays concerns. Unfortunately, few businesses can correctly predict even a quarter of their future needs beyond 6 - 12 months. This often leads to some of the previous problems.

The beauty of custom software is in its ability to mitigate the risks posed by the problems that plague new software adoption. The first step in adopting new technology is to clearly identify how technology can streamline our business processes and make our lives easier. A technologist (or business analyst) can be very helpful in pointing out what the possibilities are as well as soliciting feedback and organizing how these possibilities may affect business processes. Once we have a clear view of what we would like to have our technology do for us, we can prioritize our feature set and make sure that we do not miss features or add features that will not be used. A wonderful byproduct of this process is that the features we define will be defined in terms of our current business processes and work flow. There is far less configuration to worry about with custom software since the software is designed for the business processes already in place. It can be much easier gaining support for new technology when it has been defined and designed with the input and approval of the people who will use it. Customer satisfaction with custom software tends to be higher than alternative off-the-shelf solutions.

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