Force Fit vs. Custom Fit


 

Off-the-Shelf vs. Custom Designed Software

Custom solutions are designed to cover and mirror all business requirements, with features limited only by the creativity and technical capabilities of the software developer contracted to develop the solution.The choice comes down to the requirements a business is willing to sacrifice when choosing an off-the-shelf (OTS) system over a custom system.

Custom solutions have immense flexibility, as any changes to the system are more affordable, can be made faster and designed to closely match the specific business requirements. At the initial acquisition stage, OTS solutions can meet primary requirements, appear to be more cost effective,  but demand greater flexibility and compromise from the business.

This means that there is a greater potential risk of an OTS implementation not integrating successfully into an organization, especially if existing processes are heavily ingrained.

Code Seven presents itself as a strong option, combining the genuine flexibility and control of a custom system while still offering the speed of implementation and mature feature set of an off-the-shelf solution.

In addition, we offer professional support services that span the full life-cycle of a content management system implementation.

Acquisition and Initial Costs

Large scale implementations of OTS solutions invariably mean changes to existing business processes in order to adapt to the new system. The same problems do not plague a custom solution as it can be designed from the ground up to capture existing business processes.

Estimating the total cost of ownership must also consider recurring OTS software licensing costs, outdated limited features, hardware upgrade costs, and lowered productivity costs during the transition to the new system.

One of the first tasks to perform when selecting a software solution is to gather a list of requirements that the new system must meet. These requirements can usually be broken up into three categories;

           • “must haves”
           • “should haves”
           • and “nice to haves”

An off-the-shelf solution will have a more difficult time meeting all the requirements, as they often only contain features that make commercial sense to the vendor. A custom built solution will be designed from the ground up to meet the business’ requirements and to mirror existing business processes.

We provide the same benefits of an OTS system such as a proven platform and industry experience while still delivering the flexibility and control that an organization might expect from a custom built solution.

Ongoing Maintenance and Evaluation

Once the new system has been installed and deployed across the organization, the focus shifts to ongoing maintenance and updates.

Off-the-shelf solutions are generally quite limited in terms of the flexibility to cater for changes to individual business structures and processes. OTS solutions are unlikely to spend the resources implementing new functionality if it does not improve the product for all users of their software.

Custom solutions offer reliable system support, great flexibility to adapt to changing business environments, and combine the ability to access best-of-breed functionality while implementing business specific features.

Our application solution’s flexibility means that the software can handle business work flow control, maintain traceable data, manage business reporting and perform countless other business functions.

Our extensive knowledge of content management  is custom built around your proven business practices, giving you the best possible control of all aspects of your editorial, media, marketing and order fulfillment.

Conclusion

The ideal system should combine the advantages of both types of software solutions while minimizing the risk and partnering with a professional support team that spans the full life-cycle and meets all short and long-term budget requirements.

It has the advantage of being a mature platform with customized electronic forms for management of auditable data in regulated environments