Businesses use software and technology to help solve specific problems, operate more efficiently and maintain a competitive advantage that allows them to grow and succeed. When it comes down to choosing which software and technology solutions you employ, the choice can be tricky. Do you choose something “out-of-the-box” – a prebuilt solution that can possibly be configured to meet your needs—, or do you go with an entirely custom-built solution that may have a higher initial cost, but will meet your needs exactly?
Customization versusConfiguration can be a hard choice. In many cases a customized solutionis clear, simply because there is no out-of-the-box option available and a custom option is the only option, and an out-of-the-box option is sometimes the clear choice because a particular business need is very standard and there are many suitable options already available. Even though many software applications are custom built because there is no solution currently available, others are custom built because they can do it better.
Take Google, for example. Before Google, there were many search engines. The founders of Google thought they could do it better, and so they built their own, which has been wildly successful. The same thing has happened thousands of times as people have seen a need and built a solution to fill that need, rather than relying on an incomplete prepackaged solution.
As a custom software development company, Amadeus Consulting has seen the wealth of innovation, insight and creativity that business leaders possess. We have helped innovation leaders turn their imagination into full working products, and we have seen the impact that custom software solutions can have on building a business.
But we at Amadeus Consulting also recognize that a fully custom solution is not always the best solution for every situation. In the battle of customization versus configuration, there are still many variables to consider, and it not always an either/or choice. We would like to provide a few tips that may help you get started. But first, a quick rundown of the benefits:
At a Glance
Custom Software: Software which requires changing a program’s code or building new software from scratch.
Creates a feature or product not available anywhere else
Does exactly what you want
Provides competitive edge
Creates a new proprietary product or solution
Integrates with current systems
Higher Initial Cost
Longer implementation time
Configurable software: Software that allows you to change settings or slightly reconfigure the software within its designed limitations
Lower initial Cost
More Universally recognized
Generic fit – May not do everything you need
May require customization anyways
Requires IT department to manage configuration and maintenance
Stay tuned for our follow-up to this post, which will give you the three big questions to pinpoint your needs.