The Pros And Cons Of Off The Shelf Software

11 November, 2016 Blog, General

The Pros And Cons Of Off The Shelf Software Packages

Purchasing a software solution can be a confusing and somewhat daunting task for some companies, not only can software be costly, if you implement the wrong system it can have an adverse impact on the performance of the business. So it’s important that you make a well-informed decision, to help you we have reviewed all of the positive and negative aspects of off the shelf software packages.

Advantages

Off the shelf software tends to be a cheaper than bespoke development at the initial purchase stage, which tends to be the reason why so many companies choose pre-configured systems. They are often available to implement straight away, so you can have your team or department using the system within days or weeks. Also, off the shelf software packages are used by other businesses and users, so there is usually a variety of guides including books, tutorials, best practices and other resources available online to turn to for support. Vendors who supply off the shelf software also tend to provide regular upgrades so that you will have an up to date system.

  • Initially cheaper than bespoke development.
  • Quick implementation, most systems are ready to use straight away.
  • Online guides and forums to support your users.
  • Regular upgrades are available.

Disadvantages

However, it’s important to realise that it’s unlikely you will find a pre-configured solution that has all of the features and functionality your business needs, in the way that you need and changing the system is usually impossible or very expensive. As most off the shelf packages are made to cater to a broad audience, they often include lots of functions that you will not use or need, but will have to pay for anyway. Although most systems will come with regular upgrades, you might have to pay for these updates and not gain anything by doing so as the new features are not suited to your business. Support from software vendor will usually come at a cost, and some providers may stop your support if you refuse to upgrade your system to the latest version. One of the most important things to consider is that your business will have to work with the software, rather than the software being configured to suit the way your business works/operates.

  • Expensive or impossible to change.
  • Unnecessary features and functionality.
  • Upgrade and support costs.
  • Limits your control on how your business operates.

Conclusion

Off the shelf software packages like anything have their advantages and disadvantages, but it’s important to do your research and choose the right option for your business. To continue your research on software solutions read our blog, ‘The Pros And Cons Of Bespoke Software.’ Excelpoint is an off the shelf software platform that builds customer-specific solutions, find out more by visiting our solutions page or getting in touch with us directly.

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