Commercial-of-the-shelf (COTS) products, also known as ready-made products, are pre-existing and proven systems that have already been deployed and tested. Customized software, on the other hand, involves a group of experts, such as business analysts, solution architects, and software developers, working together to create a system that meets the specific requirements of a particular organization. COTS solutions often come with pre-established working procedures, while customized software requires the organization to develop its own procedures.
One of the benefits of COTS solutions is that they usually include valuable procedures that people find to be efficient. However, it is important to keep in mind that these procedures may not fully comply with an organization’s internal procedures. In such cases, organizations may have to adopt procedures to COTS or vice versa. Both options are doable, and the right decision depends on specific circumstances.
Another advantage of COTS solutions is that they are tangible and can be easily evaluated to determine whether they work or not. Customized software, on the other hand, can only be assessed after it has been developed and implemented. Unfortunately, there are cases where people invest in developing customized software only to discover that it doesn’t work properly or needs significant corrections, which can be costly and time-consuming. When choosing between COTS and customized software, the expertise of the development team and their organization in all project phases, including after-sales support, are critical factors to consider.
COTS solutions are typically less expensive than customized software, even when adjustments are needed. However, the decision to choose one over the other should depend on the specific needs of an organization and its team. Each software solution must be evaluated on an individual basis, taking into account the organization’s business requirements and the unique features of the solution. If the organization requires something that can be easily integrated and used, then a COTS solution may be the best option. However, if an organization has unique requirements that cannot be met by a pre-existing product, customized software development may be the best solution. If you require additional guidance or assistance with making this decision, feel free to ask for up to four (4) hours of free consultancy from our experienced team.