Don’t do it. Don’t approve that budget for $1.5 million for that 18-month effort. Don’t book the meeting to start the functional requirements. Don’t start the data dictionary. Just stop. Catch your break and think.
Everything has changed just in the past two years. Bespoke (‘custom’, for the non-English) application development is so 2009 unless you can first manage the problem of the enormous (and increasing) amounts, types and speed of critical data (AKA, the ‘three V’s‘). Anything you build will simply add to the stack of maintenance misery and miss the bigger opportunity.
The world will change somewhere before the requirements are completed.
Do you have the information plumbing in place to allow any type and amount of information be absorbed and then made to arrive when and where needed?
Can you slice and dice historical information, find patterns, and predict what to expect in the future?
Have you enabled information-driven decisions on the fly?
Are you closing the gap between what you know and what might happen next?
If you can’t answer “Si, Señor” to these four, then what are you going to accomplish by building another custom application that will tie down resources and budget for years to come? It will be a loser out of the gate.
You have a green field in front of you. Start small. Start now.