Blogs

Wednesday, 19 October 2016 10:50

Off-the-Shelf Software Vs. Customized Software

                                 

     Are you torn in between off-the-shelf software and customized software? Maybe, confused which of which is the best investment for your business? or Perhaps, what would be the wisest choice in simplifying and automating your business processes? Well, these are just some of the nerve-wracking questions that a business owner may come across with.

Nowadays, growing companies are moving a step forward to conquer far more greater heights in terms of expansion and reaching a wider market sector. This initiative is evident by using aggressive market strategies to equalize the playing field between modern competitors. Hence, given such need to improve and strengthen business operations, the use of IT systems has been the trend for addressing business needs and meeting customer demands and expectations.

Undeniably, the use of software system is prevalent in the market due to its promising and effective results. Thus, how can you necessarily know what is the best way to go for your business? Should you have an off-the-shelf “readymade” software (a kind of software that is already made for a specific need HR, Accounting etc.) or a customized or “tailored” one software to match your needs (a kind software specifically designed for you, to target your business needs)?

In this dilemma, we can look at 5 different pointers to help you in making the decision.

  • Scalability & Scoping

           Off-the-Shelf software are normally limited in terms of scoping and targeting business needs in the long run. For instance, you already have an Accounting Software or a SAP System to do everything for your business, but since it’s a “readymade” type of software, you can’t easily adjust it. It may take a lot of time and effort to build another system under such. Unlike customized software the scalability and use of the software is broader. The software will adjust to your needs and it can even accommodate business growth issues and needs in the long run. Off-the-shelf software features are somehow generic and limited in terms of performance and scope.

  • System Integration & Competitive Advantage

            In terms of this criteria, off-the-shelf software are normally available in the market. Thus, most of its content and features are not editable. Just like “Microsoft Word” you can’t easily change its features if you want it to have a “PowerPoint” like, presentation within it. Just like in SAP, you cannot just integrate a feature or add additional elements on your own. It is possible but it will take a lot of time, cost and effort. Unlike, customized software most of its items are editable and dependent on the set of requirements provided by the company so the reports, information and files can be updated and be changed over time. It is anchored on what the company wants.

In terms of competitive advantage, if you want to drive away from what’s already used by a lot of companies, the best way to go is the “customized software” wherein you are flexible to make the system/software work in line with your business goals. More likely, it will deliver more appropriate results since it is rooted on your needs.

  • Saving More Time and Money

              If we are going to weigh both kinds of software, it is clear that each one is an investment for a business. Off-the-Shelf software are normally paid because of its license which may keep on increasing overtime. One good example is SAP software wherein you need to pay millions just  to have it or a part of it. Unlike customized software, the cost is also high in the beginning but its being “future-proof” can justify the cost. Why? It is because 90-100%, this type of software can handle even your future business needs. Since it is customized, any business can ensure that the software is a perfect fit for their needs. It also helps to save time because even the owner can customize and edit the software system if they want. After production, the customized software and the codes used will be given to the company to whom it is designed for. They have the exclusive right for the ownership of the software.

  • Security

       One of the most alarming issues of today is security. Protection from business threats and hacking is always a priority even in software and systems. Thus, it is a must that if you will consider off-the shelf- software, please make sure that it is licensed. Most of the cheaper version of software available in the market seemed to have predictable features and content that even hackers are already familiar with. SAP and other higher priced software are much more reliable in terms of security. But if you want a unique and mutually exclusive software and content just for you, customized software is the best way to go.

  • Support and Maintenance

As time goes by, customized software is much more advantageous to use for its maintenance cost is decreasing. Once you already have it, customized software are easy to manage and maintain. Unlike, off-the shelf software sometimes you have to renew your license or what not. Some off-the-shelf software are also easy to use and install but may be hard to maintain for its limited features, add-ons might require an additional cost.

These are just some of the pointers that can help you to decide which will work best for you and your interests. If you are having a hard time to decide, which of which, you can also compromise in between.

Some IT companies can create a software system that contains both. It is somehow a mixture of commercial/readymade software which are modified to make it fit for the requirements of a company. What is important is to choose the right people to who will develop the software. I suggest that you can read our previous blog about choosing a good and reputable software company.

At the end of the day it is normally the prerogative of the business owner if they want to have an off-the-shelf software or a customized one. But in terms of profitability and future use, customized software would be a wise investment especially for growing companies or SMEs who might have different and changing needs in the long run. Off-the-shelf software is also good but may have limited features and recommended for multinational companies.

 

Image Source: 

http://www.freepik.com/free-vector/computers-and-a-tablet-with-a-ruler-and-a-pencil_719132.htm

        

Published in Software Development

   

         According to Rick Cook, “Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better-idiot-proof programs, and the universe trying to build bigger and better idiots. So far, the universe is winning.”

Programming is indeed a breakthrough towards technological advancement. The marvelous works of computers, programs, applications and software have transformed the world. In this race of creating, developing, unfolding and transforming something extraordinary out of the ordinary, how can you actually win?

Well, for a programmer to win, he or she must overcome all the daily struggles of their job to achieve a certain set of goals. They need to embroil and submerge themselves into the nitty-gritty of everything. This includes the entire process of software development plus the agonizing struggles and challenges that may come along the way.

So, you better get ready and brace yourself! Here are some compelling reasons why the struggle is real for programmers.

1). Exhausting Relationship with Coding

                                                                                                   

A programmer must have a certain long-term relationship with coding. It is actually the backbone of any system so you need to to bear the agony of this process no matter how tiring it can be. You must be willing to code and code and code up to the point, wherein you can no longer open your eyes. Coding is never easy and it will consume a lot of your time. Sometimes it feels like its never-ending! It is truly wearisome not just physically but mentally.

2).  Enduring the Hassle of Debugging

 

                                                                        

  The process of debugging is actually the greatest struggle of a developer. This is much more difficult than coding because some bugs are not easy to find and fix. Thus, this is definitely a pain in the ass.

3). Updating and Refactoring Can Kill You Sometimes

    

                                                                                             

       As much as overthinking about the codes and functionalities may stress you out, sometimes updating and refactoring can kill and turn your work into a mess. Yes, imagine those moments wherein you’ve think of another way of doing something and you’ve changed and refactored and deployed it. But in the end, it doesn’t work? Thus, with full of regrets you just decided to start over again and delete everything. How awful and saddening, right?

4). Puzzling Moments of “Why and How” Codes Work

                                                                                               

 Who says that existential questions are not applicable to coding. Indeed, programmers are also faced with a lot of questions especially why a code is not working or how it functions? Maybe, how the problem started or where the error is coming from? You know, mind-boggling questions might actually sprout during the process of development and even testing. Thus, it is really a struggle for any programmer to have a clear grasp of designing and analyzing techniques.

5). Customizing Requires Additional Effort

                                                                                              

     Customizing requires a lot of effort from a programmer especially if you’ve already finished the system or the application itself. Thus, in the beginning of a project it is important to customize the system or program based on the needs of a client or establishment. Plan ahead for the features in need to be customized. Nonetheless, if will be a disaster.

6). Fixing Errors and Understanding Syntax Format

                 

                                                                                                         

     Fixing errors is also a struggle especially for the newbies. Thus, it is important that you are equipped with technical knowledge and skills. Familiarize yourself with basic programming languages and understand the format and syntax upon it. Remember syntax is very important and strict adherence to it must be observed!

7). Ensuring Compatibility of the Software

                                                                                                               

    Compatibility should always be a priority for a programmer or developer. From time to time, it is important to check if the software is compatible with a specific Internet browser or device. Imagine how tiring and time consuming it can be. Checking the security is also an additional factor to be considered.

These are just some of the daily struggles that a programmer of software developer might actually come across with. At the end of the day, nothing comes easy! Every day is a good fight and it is up to you if you’ll take the challenge.

For it is only through these daily struggles, where you can actually see what you are capable of as a programmer. Understanding your struggles might give you a hundred more reasons to love your job and strive harder. Keep on believing and never cease to grow. Now you can finally say that “The struggle is real!”.

 Image Sources:

Image 1 Link: http://giphy.com/search/programmer

Image 2 Link: http://www.phdcomics.com/comics/archive.php/archive/tellafriend.php?comicid=673

Image 3 Link: http://www.streamoverlaypro.com/development-blog/

Image 4 Link: http://gifsec.com/funny/why-gifs-2/

Image 5 Link: http://giphy.com/search/hard-work

Image 6 Link: https://giphy.com/gifs/3o85xn8b6TuGGTnSOk

Image 7 Link: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/889302467

 

            

 

Published in Software Development

Message Us Now

Loading, please wait..