Out-of-the box vs. custom IT solution: how to take the right decision for your business
Software has changed the face of business once and for all. The most traditional businesses are increasingly relying on new technologies today. Even with a hairdresser for which you can easily sign up for through a website or chatbot.
However, the software world is divided into two categories of solutions: custom (dedicated solutions) and standard (out-off-the box solutions).
We’ll try to guide you and explain which solution can be the right for you and why we have been supporting custom solutions since the beginning of Lux-ICTS. But the decision is something which fully depends on you at the end of the day.
Out-of-the Box solutions
Standard solutions, also referred to as commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) or “ready-to-use solutions”.
These are all solutions that we can easily buy (once or in a monthly subscription) and use immediately.
The advantages are the following:
- You buy IT products / services, and you can immediately start configuring, installing, and using it.
- Continuous update (often paid).
- Have a variety of packages to choose from (usually for SaaS services).
- Lower cost in the beginning, gradually paying more as the company develops to use more advanced features (which you didn’t need in the beginning). This is where the first disadvantages begin.
Disadvantages you may face with:
- Inability to adapt (customization).
- Sometimes it’s possible to add the logo, change colors, or even the layout – either we have no control (SaaS), or it requires programming work.
- The popularity that makes them vulnerable to attacks or hacking.
- (Around 50% of all websites are based this way. So, it pays for the hackers to crack the WP code to take control of many sites. The same goes for the popular shop machines. (Where the rate is still is higher)).
Standard solutions can be good to start with if you are limited in terms of budget or need to start your business immediately not possessing enough time for the set up.
However, if there is a strong goal to be successful, we might need a tailor-made solution. And this is where custom solutions appear to be important.
Custom Solutions (Dedicated IT)
The second category of IT solutions are tailor-made solutions (also known as “dedicated” or “custom”).
They are the exact opposite of the first category. The software is made to order and customized to your requirements.
The cost of such a solution is higher, to be able to use the system you must wait longer than with finished product(s). Since only one customer will be using this system, so he will have to bear the full cost of manufacturing.
If custom solutions have these flaws, why are they so valuable and popular?
Mainly because they offer something. And they offer practically everything because the only limit is usually budget and time.
Here it is worth recalling the principle of the iron triangle:
You cannot have all three elements at the same level. When we want a wide range of features and fast execution, the cost increases. On the other hand, if we want to keep costs and time in check, we must sacrifice scope.
A fourth variable must be mentioned – one that cannot be dispensed with.
That’s the quality.
When quality drops, the other stats may suit us better, but unfortunately, skimping on quality always ends badly.
Customized solutions can meet any business need (This allows the company to work more efficiently and constantly improve its processes *and its software* at the same time.)
What can custom solutions improve in my company?
There are endless examples of applications for tailor-made solutions.
Popular applications are:
- Automation of customer service using chatbots in Messenger and/or on the website.
- Improving management of tasks/projects in the company that have not yet been fully digitized.
- Digitalizing the hiring process to provide a better candidate experience.
- Setting up a portal for customers for placing orders for example can do the required tasks a completely new approach to placing or configuring orders in the online store, which must include a loyalty program or e-learning.
With the mentioned above we tried to share today’s IT solution world which requires us all to use our analytical skills and consultancy help if needed before choosing the right solution for the personal or corporative business needs.
At the end of the day, you will be the one who whether takes advantages out of your choice made or the one who constantly contacts to the support or looking for another solution which may work better.