31 (126) 2017
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Out-of-the-box solution or custom development ?

by Piotr Żbikowski, key account manager, Clurgo
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As the software market matures, the choice software that comes out of a box and software that’s custom-written for you is no longer so obvious.

Even until very recently, the companies whose needs were not satisfied with available solutions decided to acquire custom software built to suit their specific needs to enhance their business development. Out-of-the-box (‘box’) solutions, on the other hand, enabled companies to introduce best business practices, developed over the years, into their organisations.

Both of these kinds of applications are more and more similar to each other.  Companies specialised in developing build-to-suit products use their knowledge in new projects which makes new software  far more flexible. The possibility to integrate external solutions is becoming increasingly common. Both customer relationship management (CRM) systems and apps which enhance specific business processes and their elements might be now easily integrated. At this point, almost any class of software is offered as box solution. Custom solutions which support the most specialised areas of business are still very popular. That’s why the competition between custom-made and box solutions exists mostly in most complex areas of business that are of key importance for companies.

A case-by-case approach, supported by first-class execution of a product will maximise the performance of  an organisation which uses built-to-suit solution to respond to its specific needs. The company will get key support for its actions in a field of its choice. On the other hand, box solutions will respond better to standard needs such as optimisation/development/enhancement of business processes, taking all the newest market trends into consideration.

In search for the answer

To answer the title-question, we have to emphasise the importance of real business needs. The question cannot be answered without thoroughly analysing the internal processes of the company, advantages and disadvantages of possible solutions and most likely assessing the probability of future success. Things that have to be considered prior to choosing a solution are the functionalities of the software, flexibility of the technology and development tools used. We should also analyse the functionalities of the application through the prism of the company’s internal needs. Dedicated solutions have to respond to more strategic needs of our organisation. Ordering a custom solution should be preceded by accurate analysis of needs and technology solutions.

At Clurgo we are aware of the importance of choice between market trends, creating your own application or a compromise on the integration of future systems with existing ones. That is why, in the CRM solution era we offer reliable, world-class Salesforce solution. It integrates years of experience proved by success of many companies. It is an extensive, fully functional platform ready to use on any device. It might be easily integrated to any possible business software – that’s why it became first choice solution. In Access and Identity Management we use the solution of a global leader, Forgerock, a platform which guarantees digital safety of your company and its clients. It also enables personalised access to products and services in any place and time – on any device.

At the same time, we support our customers in developing unique applications, at all stages  - from the identification and analysis of business needs through the process of designing, implementing, and testing the solution.

As we see it

The choice between one solution and the other must be based on a thorough analysis of the needs and the solutions available on the market, including costs for each variant. Applications that support core processes, such as finance and accounting systems, payroll or sales do not have to be written anew. A better practice would be to use the ready-made solutions. On the other hand, in the case of systems that support specific sectoral functions should reach for a dedicated, custom software written by an external company. Especially when these can give you a competitive edge.

At present, most businesses use both methods of obtaining business software. Some solutions are written to order and some are purchased on the market. In most cases, ready-made software, especially from the upper shelf, is supplemented by additional functions written by the implementing companies or the customer itself.

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