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Standard vs. custom made software

Many of us have most likely been, or are about to become, in the dilemma of procuring the software needed to manage some business processes, whether to obtain ready-to-use standard software or choose software made exactly for our needs.

Much depends on the complexity of the company's processes. If the processes are simple and largely standard (similar to most companies operating in the same sector), suitable standard software generally does its job relatively well. However, for slightly more complex processes, the standard solution may not produce the desired result. If the standard solution works, less than 50% of its functionality is usually used. This means that we have paid for the remaining 50% of the features we do not use, and these unused features often also complicate our work, e.g. the tables contain a number of fields and settings that we do not use, which make the overall picture, usage, and training of new users much more difficult.

Before making a decision, it is worthwhile to put the size of the investment and its return on the balance. It is not always easy to do this because of the great variety of nuances and factors involved, but it is worth considering whether it makes sense to invest in bulky and expensive business software if we can use about twenty percent of it, and the rest is a burden, both financially and in terms of complexity.

With tailor made software, you get exactly what you need and so you only pay for what you actually use. In addition, software designed for your needs supports your operations and processes, not the other way around, where you often need to tailor your processes according to the software.

It is sometimes possible to get a ready-made solution on a slightly faster schedule. Deploying tailor-made software can take up a little more of the company's own time at first, but the end result is almost always better and the time spent on the early phase gets paid off quickly. Surprisingly, often the cost of a tailor-made solution can be lower than costs for the standard solution.

In summary, the above arguments may not always be valid for everyone and for every situation. The processes of each company are unique and the decision has to be made according to the specifics of your own company.



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