Which Type of Software Application Is Right for My Business?

There are advantages and disadvantages of using off-the-shelf applications or implementing solutions in-house. OSGUSA can help your company choose the best method for your needs.

Software Applications Right For Your Business

There are advantages and disadvantages of using off-the-shelf applications or implementing solutions in-house. OSGUSA can help your company choose the best method for your needs. 

Software Applications

In this article, we address the advantages and disadvantages of using off-the-shelf applications or designing and implementing solutions in-house. Companies generally choose the option that best suits their planned usage. Commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) packages can save time but may not yield all the features you’re looking for. It may still be worthwhile to go that route and hire external resources to customize the application with any missing functionality.

Chicago-based Outsource Solutions Group USA can assist your IT team with both homegrown and customized application development. Our team of experienced consultants and pool of diverse professionals do the work while your internal resources concentrate on day-to-day responsibilities. Building a customized app can deliver all the bells and whistles you want but takes a lot more time and dedicated resources. Learn more about the pros and cons of both choices and how you can determine the best path for your organization.

What If I Go with Custom Software Development?

COTS software has a low initial cost. However, there are plenty of hidden costs, especially if you have to go through a lot of revisions before the solution meets the demands of your internal or external users.

Ask yourself the following questions to determine if commercial off-the-shelf customization is your best option:

  • Does the application have a lot of features you don’t need that jack up the purchase price?
  • How much time and money would it take to build, implement, and maintain the COTS tool?
  • What resources do you need to dedicate to training your team or clients?
  • Are there any documented requirements to guide your decision?
  • Is there sufficient support to take on this project?

COTS like Oracle EBS or SAP can revolutionize the way you do business and improve your workflow and productivity. However, you can also become locked into functionality that fits most business applications — but may not fit yours.

Is a Custom Application a Better Decision for My Business?

Outsource Solutions Group USA supports clients looking for help in creating a customized solution that meets the needs of distinctive operations. You can leverage this solution to gain a competitive advantage over competitors.

COTS solutions may be harder to modify and may not support critical features needed to streamline and automate operations. This can result in awkward situations, such as keeping a computer with older browser or OS versions that are compatible with legacy systems.

Let’s say you need to convert a manual process to an electronic solution. The key is to build an application that directly addresses the process you are modifying. An application developed from scratch lets you set the terminology and workflow exactly the way you need it. This gives your employees an immediate advantage because the language and tasks are already familiar to them and they just need to learn their role in maintaining and checking that the automation continues to work as expected. On the other hand, customizing a COTS traps you into the technology used to create a business solution.

If you customize a COTS application be sure to follow a roadmap. Hybrid solutions, such as highly customized off-the-shelf apps, give you the ideal framework that can support your operation with minimal vendor support. The last thing to consider is that going with a well-known vendor and customizing their market offering, makes it easier to replace in-house resources that decide to leave the company. Going with an IT consulting firm, such as OSGUSA, gives you the best of both worlds — access to professionals equally comfortable with designing from-scratch or modified COTS tools.

Can You Monetize Your Homegrown Solution?

If you feel that you can develop an in-house solution that may work for other companies in your industry, you may be able to monetize your software solution. This isn’t an option many companies pursue, but it’s something to keep in mind early in the decision-making process.

OSGUSA is also available to conduct an evaluation of your current systems to give you a clearer picture when comparing your development options. It’s important to get a third-party evaluation to help you weigh your choices objectively to come up with the best, most cost-effective plan for your business innovations.