Custom development extends native Salesforce functionality beyond what can be accomplished out of the box. The three main ways are typically integrations, custom code, and/or visualizations. These can be used independently or in conjunction with one another.
Integrations reduce the need for users to “swivel chair” between systems in order to enter or retrieve information. By connecting with third-party systems using the Salesforce API, you can reduce latency in your processes. If the data resides in Salesforce, you can trigger workflows to run in real time. Having the right data from external systems in Salesforce can also have additional downstream benefit – from reporting to executing marketing automation.
At some point, process complexity and increasing transactional volumes make completing tasks too onerous for users. By requiring fewer clicks and less user interaction, custom development can help you streamline processes and increase efficiency. It is also not uncommon to exhaust the features available through “button click” configuration, and in order to add additional functionality to Salesforce, custom development is the answer.
As well designed as Salesforce might be, usability can still be a challenge. By controlling the presentation of information, we can make it more actionable and meaningful to users. For example, data can be displayed more visually through colors, charts, and graphs; we can highlight exceptions or surface items that need attention; information can be summarized to reduce clicks and the need to run additional reports; and information can be displayed contextually – by showing or hiding additional information depending on whether it’s needed.