The true nature of tailor-made software development

See AMP Version

When Analystik starts a new mandate with a client; the main goal is almost always to automate a business process and the methodology is, all things considered, quite simple:

  • Analysis of the process
  • Analysis of possible enhancements to the process itself
  • Creation of the software solution automating the process
  • Integration to existing related technologies and processes
  • Implementation

One spontaneously sees that a tailor-made software solution will fit more like a « glove » for the enterprise compared to a commercial software which is more of a « mitt ».

Shall we point it out over and over; although it calls upon a superior initial investment compared to a commercial software which answers roughly from 50% to 75% of requirements; a tailor-made software solution will always respond to 100% of requirements.  And let’s not forget, while adaptation to existing technologies and processes is always included with tailor-made software solution; it is always necessary as well with commercial software solution but never included !!!  We’re talking extras here; sounds like a story you’ve heard recently?

I’ve seen the face of risk

For a large-scale software project, the IT director will very often go towards a commercial software solution and that, for many reasons, but most of all, in order to reduce the risk, to reduce implementation time, and to reduce cost, etc.  Surprisingly, we always associate unforeseen cost, delayed delivery and unfulfilled requirements with tailor-made software development; and by God, it should be quite the opposite!   Analystik, for example, has implemented CMMI model up to level 4 (it’s the highest tailor-made software development ISO standard, defined and required by US Army), and it also applies the Agile–SCRUM methodology; anything to comfort any client but still…


The choice of known commercial software solution which has hundreds, even thousands of clients is somewhat perceived and acts as an insurance policy… -for your job; in case of failure, the IT director won’t be blamed for choosing a software solution that has worked out fine and so successfully for thousands of renown large-scale companies, right?


The need for a well-established and well-reputed software solution unfortunately often leads to inadequate solutions and inappropriate choices.  I have had this story strolling in my head for a while and in which a well-know figure of the Quebec Finance industry has asked us to work with them to automate some of their key finance business processes.  Since we have been working for a major client in the same field of activities for more than 15 years, we were certainly one of the best tailor-made software development in Quebec to understand this client’s objectives and problems, and meet his requirements with the highest added-value solution.

Unfortunately, one month down into analysis phase, the client informed us that we had to stop because someone, from the inside, has taken the decision to go with a commercial software solution (which was not defined nor identified at the time).  It took them a year before coming up with their choice (which was roughly the time planned to fully develop our tailor-made solution).  Through our communication exchanges with their decision-makers over the following years, we have learned that the final cost of the commercial software solution was around 3 Millions $… and the cost to adapt this commercial solution to their IT environment finally came up to another 3 Millions $ as well.


Even though we had not finalized our initial analysis, our tailor-made solution would have cost approximately 1.5 millions $, it would have been implemented step by step but with most of the product implemented even before they came up with the choice of the commercial software solution and years before they would have completed the adaptation to their IT environment.


It is surprising that enterprises are ready to pay 400% more just to have peace-of-mind solution. After they had to adapt to that solution.


In the case of tailor-made software development, the goal is to start to understand the spirit within the enterprise walls. The way it works, analyze the processes and automate them; and if possible, optimize them on the way.  On the other hand, a commercial software solution just requires that both people and enterprise adapt to the product itself; and this, very often by pretending to be industry « best practice »…


The real… reality of tailor-made software development

Enhancements to your business processes can have incredibly positive impacts, because normally processes are being optimized while being automated.

  • A tailor-made software solution delivers functionalities that the organization will use its own way because it needs them.
  • It doesn’t deliver useless functionalities to the organization (on average, users only use 19% of software functionalities).
  • A tailor-made software solution adapts to the business: the finance and legal environment, the sales cycle and the production cycle.
  • That kind of  solution will not get updated by a supplier.

When you reach the point where you have commercial software solutions handling core business processes in your enterprise; generally, they don’t communicate much between each other and it doesn’t look good.   And good luck with integration!



Good luck… with your IT project,

Denis et Michel


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *