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.


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Published in Software Development


          In this time of progression, it is evident that the innumerable forces of technology conquered and revolutionized how people think and act. This sector has been a prominent platform in terms of creating avenues for people to innovate and discover new solutions to make their lives easier.

Surprisingly, change has been an inherent aspect of technology. Every now and then, applications and gadgets are being renewed, updated, invented or some can also be outdated. Indeed, this has become a challenge for people to adapt to what the 21st century way of life calls for.

Innovation has transpired over the years and it paved way to the birth of new gadgets, applications, systems down to the tiniest details of microchips, cables and even new codes and programming languages!

Well, as astonishing as it may sound, even programming languages can be updated or changed just like your new mobile application or Iphone! Of course, learning the basics of programming will make any developer survive, but in order to meet the demands of the modern world, they must have also felt the need to innovate and leverage their knowledge and skills within the current trends.

After all, this boils the down to the question of, is it really crucial to know some of the new programming languages?

Actually, it can be a big “Yes!” or a hesitant “No!”.

The truth is, it is really the prerogative of the developer if he or she wants to immerse his or herself into this new world of coding. Hence, there are also circumstances that developers learn such either by force or due to the urgency of the need to update a new system. It won’t hurt actually because some the new programming languages are open-source all you have to do is to ransack online and understand how it works!

Here are also some of the new programming languages of 2016 and the reasons why it is crucial to learn some of them!

New Programming Languages of 2016

Source: (TechWorld, 2016)

  • Scala- is tagged as a functional and object oriented language that is highly scalable.
  • Google Go- is created in 2009 by 3 Google employees, this language is easy to use and dynamically efficient.
  • Hack- is a programming language released by Facebook, available as open source to replace the PHP language of the website.
  • Julia- is a popular high level performance kind of programming language.
  • Elixir- is known as a “general purpose” programming language that is used for creating embedded systems. It is also used in developing websites.

 Benefits of Knowing New Programming Languages

  • System & Application Integration

Knowing a new programming language is important in terms of integrating another system to a new system. In software or application development, a barrel of requirements should be considered and one of those is the programming language used. Sometimes compatibility with a certain language is an issue. Thus, knowing a lot of programming languages especially the new ones will make you more adaptable just in case you need to integrate an old system to a new one.

  • Security & Data Storage

Familiarizing yourself with the existence of new programming languages will give you heads up in terms of security and data storage. Remember, security nowadays is very important especially that new ways for hacking are also being discovered! Therefore, it is also important to learn these new programming languages so that you can choose what language can actually support and strengthen your data protection and storage.  

  • System Update & Improvement

More often than not, systems and applications need to be updated overtime. Further functionalities and customizations are now being incorporated upon it. Thus, those changes might require a developer to use new programming languages that can administer the needed functionality. Furthermore, knowing such can give you the competitive advantage to streamline old functionalities to the contemporary ones within the system.

  • Marketability and Flexibility

In today’s globally competitive setting, business operations are relying too much on technology when it comes to innovation. Digital transformation is still the best way to go to in terms of marketability and flexibility. Learning a new programming language can give a developer a chance to be marketable in the workplace considering that a lot of companies are searching for developers who are a “jack of all trades” or who someone who knows a lot of programming languages. Thus, this entails how flexible they are in terms of working with systems and applications. Businesses nowadays even have their own requirements and specifications when it comes to acquiring service so being able to know-it-all gives you an edge over the others.

  • Future-Proof Knowledge & Skills

Knowing a set of new programming languages will make a developer ready for the future. You’ll never know! What may be in today, might be obsolete in the future. A parcel of these new languages might teach you some skills that may come in handy in the future. No one can really tell but these languages are very promising in terms of knowledge and skill generation. Newbies are also encouraged to explore such to be able to familiarize and develop their skills in terms of coding.

There are a lot of programming languages that may come in the long run. These are just some of benefits why it is crucial to learn new programming languages. At the end of the day, the logic of every programming language is the same with the others. The only difference is the syntax that developers use for each one. Thus, why not give it a try, fresh ideas can actually make you grow and improver yourself Why not give it a try and go out of your comfort zone!

I think it is better to master the old and go in with the new!



Image: Link:

Techworld Online Website. (September 26,2016). New Programming Languages. Retrieved from




Published in Software Development

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