Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/11/18/packaged_applications_less_relevant/

The great ‘build versus buy’ debate

What's your view on the role of packaged applications?

By Dale Vile

Posted in Evolving Apps, 18th November 2009 09:11 GMT

Mini Poll Following our discussions earlier in the week on the pros and cons of packaged applications, the ‘build versus buy’ debate rolls on. Whether it’s ERP, CRM or other solutions for dealing with core business requirements, we’d be interested in gathering a bit more information on where you are today and how this is changing.

So, if you have a couple of minutes, please give us your feedback in the short poll below:

READER POLL: BUILD VS BUY

1. How strong are the following drivers for business application packages or suites (as opposed to custom built solutions)?

  Strong Driver   Not a Concern N/A (Packages usually don't deliver here)
  5 4 3 2 1
Speed of implementation versus custom build
Cost of implementation versus custom build
Completeness of functionality / room to grow
Encapsulation of ‘best practice’ functionality
Ongoing functional enhancement by vendor
Incorporation of current technology and ideas
Ongoing technical enhancement by vendor
Support and fixes taken care of by vendor
Availability of relevant skills base in market

2. Anything we have missing in terms of significant drivers?

 

3. What is the current mix of solution types in your organisation for delivering business functionality?

Pretty much all packaged applications
Mostly packages, some custom apps
Even mix of packaged and custom apps
Mostly custom apps, some packages
Pretty much all custom built applications
None of the above

4. If you said 'None of the above', how would you describe your application mix?

 

5. How would you categorise the following potential challenges with application packages?

  Problem with packages in general Problem in quite a few cases, so need to be aware Was a big problem in the past, but generally less of an issue today Has never been a significant issue
Complex and lengthy implementation cycles
Prescriptive functionality forcing the business to operate in a particular way
Rigid functionality difficult to adapt as business requirements change over time
Proprietary technology constraining integration, modification and/or extension
Difficulty and/or expense of acquiring and maintaining specialist skills
Too many releases, too difficult to keep up
Too few releases, so always behind the curve
Cost of licences hampering initial business case
Cost of maintenance and support representing excessive ongoing TCO burden

6. Anything we have missed in terms of significant challenges?

 

7. How many employees are there in your organisation?

More than 5,000
1,000 to 5,000
250 to 1,000
50 to 250
10 to 50
Less than 10

8. Which of the following best describes your organisation?

Industrial (manufacturing, engineering, construction, etc)
Commercial (goods based) trading (retail, distribution, etc)
Financial services (banking, insurance, etc)
Business services (legal, accounting, consulting, PR, etc)
Utilities (energy, water, telecoms)
Travel and transport
Research and education
Other (please state)