If you’re looking to implement new software at your company, you have a lot of options to choose from. Today’s business software marketplace is saturated with products for almost every conceivable business need, from your run-of-the-mill customer relationship management (“CRM”) software to specialized systems for industry-specific operations. These commercial off-the-shelf (“COTS”) solutions range from Software as a Service (“SaaS”) products with a subscription model to hosted/on-premises software that your company can buy a license for and install onsite.
Despite the growing number of business applications that are on the market, there still might not be a system out there that checks all the boxes for your company. If you have unique needs that can’t be met by any existing systems, you have the option to pursue custom development. In this case, you would work with a development team or technology consultant (like Aciron!) to design a custom system tailored to your needs, with everything you need and nothing you don’t.
But what should you do if you can’t find a COTS system that meets 100% of your needs, and you’re also not ready to commit to building a custom application from scratch?
Build and buy aren’t your only options — there is a happy medium that we call the hybrid approach.
What is the hybrid approach to software development?
Hybrid isn’t just for electric vehicles! It’s also a best-of-both-worlds approach for software development.
Between the two extremes of buying COTS software and building custom software, your company can choose a hybrid approach in which you identify a COTS system that meets some (but not all) of your key requirements and customize that system to meet the rest of your needs.
Is the hybrid approach right for me?
The 80/20 Rule is a great rule of thumb for choosing the hybrid approach. If you can find a COTS solution that meets 80% of your needs, then you can use integrations and custom development to meet the remaining 20% of your requirements.
The advantage of the hybrid approach comes from leveraging the existing functionality of a system, while also being able to add the customizations that your company needs. If your business processes are part of your unique selling proposition or competitive advantage, you shouldn’t have to compromise those processes based on someone else’s software. Finding the sweet spot between commercial products and custom software helps you get the most bang for your buck — you’re not reinventing the wheel, just tweaking it.
If you think the hybrid approach may be right for you, but you’re not sure how to get started, schedule a free consultation with one of Aciron’s experts. During your consultation, we can advise you on the build vs. buy decision and help you develop a roadmap for how to select the right software for your unique needs.