Businesses and organisations sometimes see off-the-shelf software as the most cost-effective way to fulfil the needs and requirements of the business.
The advantages of packaged software are twofold: Vendor’s development costs are spread across a number of customers, which makes it possible to sell the software for lower than the typical cost of custom development.
Secondly, maintaining the software can be expensive, time-consuming and technologically challenging. You need to fix bugs, deliver new and enhanced functionality, and adapt to modern technologies and security standards. With packaged software, customers are easily able to offload that challenge.
Packaged software then, may play an important role in an organisation’s application portfolio – even comprising the entire portfolio, in some cases.
The challenge of packaged software
These pre packaged applications though, often require extensive customisation work, in order to meet the unique needs of the business. It tends to be delivered in a one-size-fits-all format, offering identical functionality to the whole customer base.
This can result in organisations having to adapt their business processes to the software when it should really be the other way around.
In an attempt to bridge the gap between packaged software and completely custom development, many organisations add customisations to the packaged software they use.
Packaged software customisation can better align the application with its business objectives, but retrofitting upgrades into customised package software can present a challenge
This customisation can present a serious challenge whenever the vendor delivers an upgrade. During the implementation stage for the new version, you have to ensure that both your customisations and the revisions from the vendor and able to remain intact and to function properly.
What IT departments should know about packaged-software change control
Download this whitepaper from our partners Remain Software to discover how to effectively manage changes to customised third-party software.