Comparison of standard and individual software
First and foremost, standard software impresses with a low purchase price and fast availability, because the products are already developed in advance across companies and the unit costs are relativized by a larger number of customers.
Usually, software manufacturers try to cover the needs of an entire industry with one software product. This forces manufacturers to create applications that are as universal as possible but do not seamlessly cover existing business processes. To avoid this, customers adapt their own business processes to the software provided. The fact that companies can also achieve a higher degree of standardization can be positively regarded here. As a result, the competitive edge over other companies can also be strengthened.
This procedure model becomes problematic if the actual business purpose cannot be achieved. If the product or its manufacturer is not able or competent to extend the software individually, a new product has to be obtained when expanding the business activity.
Open Source as an alternative to standard software
Open Source is in many cases an alternative or even the one and only solution. Open source codes allow the individual extension or adaptation of an existing application.
Critical factors for the selection are the size of the community, which takes care of the maintenance and expansion of the software and the availability of software developers, who are supposed to create individual software based on these products. Depending on the scope of the project, the effort can be considerable. For this reason, a feasibility study with a view to long-term costs should be carried out in advance.
When using its own development team, the company simultaneously becomes independent of the established standard software suppliers.
If the development team is in-house, it must be constantly maintained and is less flexible in terms of workload, which can be problematic when implementing changes as soon as a large number of developers is temporarily needed.
An alternative are freelancers, who can be used flexibly as a supplement to existing own teams. Working with freelancers is recommended if all services are precisely documented and the project manager works in-house. This form of flexibility has its price.
For projects with long-term perspectives, this approach is only recommended if it can be ensured that employees for project management, development, documentation and maintenance can be committed to the company on a long-term basis.
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