SuiteCRM Development Pitfalls to Avoid
By Katy Robinson
As already established a great number of times, SuiteCRM is a free open-source tool for managing customer relationships. One major takeaway from this statement is that SuiteCRM is open-source, or that its source code is open to being studied, changed or even distributed by the users. This has enabled a large community of SuiteCRM developers to experiment with the code of the CRM solution, customizing it at will, making individual versions of the software suitable to a variety of businesses belonging to different industry verticals.
However, even though SuiteCRM is a complete solution available to be modified and distributed according to the developers’ liking, there are still some cases where the development of SuiteCRM can fail. If the CRM vendors do not look out for such development pitfalls during the process, the results could be destructive, for the developer, the business that is getting the customized solution, or for both. Some of these pitfalls are discussed below.
Lack of Clear Objectives
Not only SuiteCRM development but any project can fail due to the lack of clear objectives. “Going with the flow” is a statement which does not apply to SuiteCRM development, or a variety of other situations for that matter. One has to be careful about what objectives he wants to achieve with his SuiteCRM development and plan the project accordingly. If not, then the code of the CRM instance might become a mess. Furthermore, the final product that the development team wants to achieve should be properly aligned with the business objectives that are to be attained using the CRM.
The Code Is Not Upgrade Safe
Whether to opt for upgrade-safe coding or not is something to be decided during the negotiation phase with the client for whom you are doing the development project. However, if not clarified earlier during the project, do be careful to keep your coding upgrade-safe. This is due to the reason that at any time in the future, your client might decide to upgrade his SuiteCRM instance. If the code is written in an upgrade-safe manner, it will make the upgrade process so much more easier and might even prevent loss of client data.
Lack of Clarity Regarding the Nature of the Business
It is no rocket science to know that the person responsible for the development project is an expert in computer software and, therefore, has not a clear idea of how the business of the client runs. That being so, it is important to learn as much as is possible about the business that the customization of SuiteCRM is taking place for, noting down all the important points. Lack of business knowledge leads to a software solution being developed which is not optimized for that business. And in the case of CRM software, optimization is key to adding efficiency and effectiveness to business processes.
Not Considering the Latest CRM Trends
There are some major trends making a mark in the CRM industry nowadays. Not taking them into consideration would be unwise. One major trend is that of Artificial Intelligence (AI), especially Machine Learning (ML), making its way into CRM solutions. Salesforce’s introduction of Einstein is an example of the prowess of AI and CRM combined, leading to better customer insights. There is no doubt that these trends might trickle down to SuiteCRM since it is an open-source solution, allowing people to add various new capabilities to it, and there being a growing need for AI in businesses. Therefore, staying unaffected of these changing trends, or any for that matter, can often lead to CRM pitfalls. Hence, it is advised to keep ahead in this challenging yet fun environment.
Lack of SuiteCRM Development Experience
Although this is quite an obvious point, however, it is also the most significant one. Only knowledge of coding and of SuiteCRM’s source code is not enough to qualify a developer as a SuiteCRM expert. One has to have worked on it before to know where the various cogs are placed in order to be able to work with them. If someone is working on SuiteCRM for the first time, then failure is inevitable for him. On the other hand, if a developer has worked on SuiteCRM before, faced failure, learned from his mistakes, then he is in a better position to provide you an immaculate CRM instance.
CRM is most often the heart and soul of businesses. The case of SuiteCRM is no different. Therefore, much care has to be taken when developing a product that is such an integral part of any institution. Over the years, many points have been noted which can render the custom SuiteCRM solutions ineffective or inefficient for businesses. Avoiding such pitfalls has to be one of the short-term goals of developers of SuiteCRM.
RT Dynamic, being an Official SuiteCRM Partner firm, has gained much expertise in providing services including SuiteCRM Integration, Customization, Maintenance as well as Support. Get in touch by filling out the Contact form. We will be glad to assist you!