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Business advantage through a software package?

Some suppliers and their supporters within an organisation may say that packages capture and implement “industry best practice”. But this is not true for all packages, in my opinion it is not true most packages.

Leading packages from leading suppliers will typically implement industry standard practice or best established practice. Many organizations may not live up to these levels and achieving them may be a big step forward and may be good enough. But they will not be among the best, there will only be differentiation in an industry where there has been widespread historical underinvestment in IT.

We often spend too much time selecting the package when it really doesn't matter that much because we are only trying to get to first base and any mainstream package will do the job.

A package can only enable creative differentiation if it differs from other packages on the market. To do this it will contain emergent best practice and have a low market share. But how can you tell the difference between emergent best practice and a collection of unproven and destined to fail techniques? How can you know whether the package supplier will fail and leave you with an unsupported application that is going nowhere? Basing business differentiation on a package is a business risk.

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  • Response
    Response: Buy vs Build
    For me, the key is flexibility. Leading software vendors should focus on making their products more open, more flexible, more agile. This does not necessarily mean following SOA principles but it does mean enabling constant business change without ha...

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