Some people buy their suits off the rack and have a tailor make adjustments for a better fit. Those that believe ‘the suit makes the man’ visit the tailor first and have the suit designed around them for the absolute best fit. Do you view your software and application purchases like this? In order to achieve the best possible outcomes for your IT expenditures in today’s enterprise software landscape, you should. There is a large difference between customizable and custom-built, and that difference is the difference between your needs and your vendor’s.
Customizable, pre-built software packages abound in today’s marketplace. Unfortunately, by design they can only go so far in terms of their adaptability for the specific business model of a unique enterprise. Even with the most customizable system you almost always end up with gaps that need to be filled by extensive customization or worse yet, extension. As the “Mega-Vendors” themselves point out in their “Customize At Your Own Risk!” warnings, extensive customization impedes upgradability and take-up extraordinary amounts of internal IT resources and increase risk. Additionally you are then left with the additional expenses of customization fees, hiring and training complexities, and integration headaches. At the end of the day, you have a solution that was created to maximize the vendor’s sales figures and not your competitive advantage.