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Written by Joel Dehlin   
Friday, 16 February 2007

My background is in software development so my first inclination in solving a business problem is to turn to custom software. I have to fight that urge as off-the-shelf applications are often more cost effective than custom-developed ones.

Commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) applications are wonderful if they match your business process. Many of these applications incorporate process models which are based on industry best practices and thus if you can match your business processes to industry practices, you can benefit from an industry’s collective wisdom. Plus you have many more users testing “your” code for you. Your company may use a small percentage of the available features of a given solution, but the economies of scale a vendor leverages in creating a COTS application make a 10% value proposition worth the full investment in the product.

Note I said “if they match your business processes.” If they do not then you have two choices. You can change your business process to match the tool (much easier said than done) or you can customize the tool.

Visit Joel's blog to read the entire article.

 

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