Configuration or Customization
searching for the right approach
When an IT service provider or professional integrator enters into the project you expect to get the maximum from your software and achieve the highest business values from it. However, each SaaS or on-prem product is just a number of bricks when the house is to be built. When the time comes to develop flows, automation, and dependencies a process usually called customization starts.
Here are 3 myths about customization we hear buzzing in a software world:
- Each company business processes are unique therefore it is essential to customize your software
- Customization is costly
- Customization means you are locked to a vendor or service provider
Before busting them down let’s dive into terminology. In IT area
configuring means using native tools to meet the company’s specific requirements
and customization is a modification that usually requires custom coding and/or some form of special implementation.
First configuration than customization. You choose spices after the main course is decided, right? Use the same approach for IT purposes. The structure and logic always go first. And if something important is missing, go ahead and add it.
Don’t ignore native objects or items. Reinventing the wheel may cause disability for scale in the future. End-users may get confused if something is called different in a purchased system but it definitely does not mean you should create new elements when they exist already.
Out-of-the-box solutions and extensions are out there, created by someone else already. Software companies thrive to provide as many “ready to implement” solutions as there could be from many perspectives:
By industry (Manufacturing, Retail, Transportation, Media, Financial services, etc)
By business org(Salesforce for CRM, Netsuite for ERP, Workday for HRIS and Finance, ServiceNow for ITSM, etc)
By business process (quote to cash, Configure Price Quote, order management, identity, and access management, etc)
Seems like customization is something you should avoid, isn’t it?
Even though it requires some additional resources at the beginning it might be lucrative in the longer term. In some way configuring a product is more vendor block than customizing. If you are planning to migrate from one system to another someday be prepared to develop many processes from scratch. It’s always recommended to define business flows without a strict attachment to the tool.
Boston SoftDesign offers the best of both approaches. For more than 2 decades we’ve been expanding our expertise helping our clients to meet complex business demands without the risks that often come with development, configuration, and customization.