Standard solution or individual software – this is the question most companies ask themselves in the digitization process. In this article, we take a closer look at this topic and show the advantages of individual software.
The term digitization basically means the change from analog to digital. In the process, companies are often faced with major challenges, because they not only go through technical processes such as the conversion of files to digital documents. Digitization also stands for a holistic change as well as innovative and agile rethinking. Topics such as intelligent networking, IT security and powerful data infrastructure are coming to the fore.
As part of this process, it is not only necessary to rethink the way people think; employees must also be given access to the appropriate tools and applications. The process of digitization can only be successful if the right programs are available with precisely the functions that individual employees need to do their jobs effectively.
There is a wide range of software solutions for companies that are more or less uncomplicated to implement. However, the organically grown IT infrastructure at companies is often so individual that a standard solution cannot map all requirements.
In principle, standard software is a mass-produced off-the-shelf product that can hardly or not at all be adapted to a company’s own needs. Standard software such as Microsoft Word or Excel is used in most companies. Such solutions have been developed for a large number of customers and cover most of the required functions. Nevertheless, a standard solution will never be able to cover all needs of all companies.
Customized solutions are tailored to the specific business process and requirements of the company right from the start and can be further developed even if the processes change. Although the costs for an individual software project often seem higher than for the purchase of a standard solution, one should not forget when calculating that this financial expenditure can be planned and is incurred once and that one is also independent of expensive licensing models.
There is an almost unmanageable variety of software, applications and tools on the market. But every company is different, has different objectives and needs. Therefore, an individual solution may well be the better choice. Even if at first glance the costs of individual software development seem higher than simply purchasing licenses for existing tools, the decision to opt for the customized variant usually pays off in retrospect. This is because a customized solution aims to increase effectiveness and save costs at the same time. There is no need for time-consuming configuration and implementation, leaving more time and resources for the actual core business.
Small and medium-sized companies in particular often do not have the financial resources to implement extensive applications in the areas of ERP, ECM, warehouse management or information management. On the other hand, standard solutions are not always able to map the evolved workflows.
Customized software brings structure to business processes and thus creates a competitive advantage. In addition, the individual solution can be flexibly adapted to changes in processes. This ensures that the application always offers exactly the functionalities that the company needs at that moment.
In addition, the introduction of a new system in the company is often a stumbling block. For example, employees have been working with the existing Excel spreadsheet for years or have become accustomed to mapping processes in paper form. Now so much is about to change, affecting their accustomed daily work routine. With individual software solutions adapted to the respective company, the acceptance during the introduction is usually much greater than with standard solutions. Integration into the existing IT landscape is also less complicated with individual software, because processes do not have to be adapted to the standard software, but the solution is adapted to the processes. This means that the processes that have already been established are retained.
Especially when the required software represents the core of the business model, there is usually no suitable standard solution. A great advantage of an individual solution is not only the flexibility, but also the fact that the source code is and remains the property of the company.
Individual solutions and tools can be integrated into the existing IT infrastructure in such a way that the greatest possible benefit is achieved (keyword: IT interoperability).
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