The crossroads of software modernization

The market environment is affected by the laws of natural selection. While some adapt and survive, others face the risk of extinction because of their inability or unwillingness to change. This analogy is also applicable to the sphere of enterprise software modernization.

Expectations vs. Reality

Transposing the laws of natural selection to the business sphere, it is reasonable to state that the time requires flexibility, accuracy of decisions and foresight. These features are gained with the existing business processes automation and introduction of innovative software solutions, responding to the needs of every certain company.

Company differentiation is topical not only in marketing sphere, but also in software. As a consequence of market diversification and increased competition, the demand for unique software is steadily growing. Companies increase their domain expertise and accumulate voluminous amounts of data, requiring more and more resources to process. But is the market of development ready for it?

Well, it is, but here comes the problem of client over-expectation. The thing is that the success of new software is not immediate, and highly dependent on how quickly the employees get skilled in using the new software, and how the lient-company decision-makers see the future upgrades. Most software developers omit the fact that customers should always be ready to invest more if the circumstances change, revealing the need for new features. The more comprehensive your software is, the cheaper comes the adaptation to business environment changes.

Mastering software potential needs time, and there is always a possibility that circumstances might change affecting the whole process and reqioring additional investment.

The market of software developers is wide and diverse, but even large companies might feel hesitant when faced with the cost of an enterprise software project. Many start to think about alternative ways. They do exist, but you should take time considering which one suits you best.

The two ways to develop enterprise software

Out-of-the-box solution

Such solutions are relevant for small companies or separate sectors of a larger business. Out-of-the-box software has a predefined functionality and is delivered as it is.

Those who ever tried looking for such solutions are well familiar with the market-leaders’ products and services with prices in five- and six-digit numbers. Lured by well-known and seemingly credible brands, large companies purchase those solutions including everything, and even more, only to use them for less than 15% of capacity. The rest functionality remains unclaimed due to irrelevance for the unique company needs or because of additional investments required for implementation. In such case client-companies face an impasse finding themselves unable to use other software not only because of reluctance to accept the loss of investment, but also because of the difficulties associated with yet another enterprise software adaptation.

Out-of-the-box solutions are becoming ubiquitous, being offered by different software vendors, from complex enterprise solutions to highly-specialized applications. They can include a wide range of systems from complex enterprise software to small specialized applications. As an example of out-of-the-box solution see data visualization applications like GetBoard.

PROs

Out-of-the-box solutions benefit from a relative quickness of introductions and ready-to-run features. The potential customer’s opinion is largely influenced by the product positioning. Most vendors claim that everything is ready and users have absolutely no need to understand the technical aspects.

CONs

Out-of-the-box solutions might be difficult to adapt to unique business conditions if a sudden need arises. Experience shows that software adaptation is required in most cases, for every business case is unique and needs a special approach. There is always a possibility that the company might not need the whole functionality of the ready-made software.  Besides, out-of-the-box solutions provided by leading and renowned companies never come cheap.

Out-of-the-box solution

Gradually legacy systems lose the edge in dealing with tasks, revealing the need to upgrade or replace them, migrating the data into a new programming environment.

Custom software development

Development, testing and implementation of such software requires more time and investment than out-of-the-box solutions. But those investments are always justified and are quick to return if the software modernizations is duly performed. Learn more about Custom software development process.

PROs

A significant advantage of custom software is that it is developed in cooperation with the client company stakeholders to solve business-specific tasks. It guarantees 100% relevance of all the tools and features. Adding new functionality is much easier in this case.

CONs

Development and implementation of unique software require more time and carefully planned investments. Embarking on a full-scale enterprise software modernization companies have to be committed to the long haul and full cooperation with software development company. The product is created collectively meaning that the client company has to identify the right priorities focusing its specialists attention on the tasks of assisting modernization, setting aside routine tasks whenever necessary.

Custom software development

The best practice is to use the strategy of small steps and clearly identify objectives for every stage using Agile approach, gradually introducing the new software.

The crossroads

There are two software modernization approaches, both having numerous features making them appropriate in one cases and inconvenient in others.

Out-of-the-box solutions are good for small companies or startups, because they are relatively easy to adapt. Large companies with developed and refined business processes need flexibility and domain-specific approach unobtainable with out-of-the-box solutions.

Even understanding the difference between two software modernization approaches you need to take time to weigh your choice, taking into account both current business requirements and the possible future modernization. In fact it means that modernization process is perpetual even if not performed on a regular basis.

In this case it is important that business software is developed in the best interest of companies as well as potential for future improvements. Learn more about our interaction with domain experts and stakeholders under software Engagement Project.

Perfico Software Modernization