When does your company need a dedicated IT system?

The multitude of options and the ever-growing range of products in the IT market can make the fans of new technologies and automation feel like they’re in heaven, right? Not really. Choosing the right solution for your company is quite a challenge. This article shows the answers to many pressing issues:

  • How do you make the right choice from among the plethora of IT systems available in the market?
  • Is a dedicated system the best solution?
  • What costs are involved?

IT systems for enterprises – what can you choose from?

Every growing company following the digital transformation path needs IT solutions that automate and simplify many daily processes. However, having made the decision to develop an IT system, further doubts and questions immediately arise. You can use a ready-made SaaS, buy a license, implement open source software or create a proprietary and dedicated solution. This is an important decision that will affect the further fate of the company and should not be made without a proper strategic analysis or cost estimation. 

Although the last option – a dedicated IT system – often seems the most suitable, it should be remembered that it will be our responsibility to develop the software and incur any further costs of maintaining it. That is why it is so important to choose the most suitable technology and implementation partner. 

Is a dedicated IT system the best way to go?

Dedicated solutions, despite their great advantages, are not always the right choice. You need to make sure that your company really needs it. How is this determined? A lot depends on the adopted strategy – is your company a market leader, a contender, a follower, or perhaps a niche player?

The follower takes a tried and tested strategy and copies the solutions from the leader. In this case, it makes sense to opt for proven measures that have already been tested. With such a strategy, the company fights for a better market position, mainly by price, and cannot afford to experiment by developing dedicated software; it is better to choose a well-known solution with a low Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).

The situation changes if the company is a market leader or a prime contender for the title. These two types of companies constantly compete with each other. The leader wants to keep its position, while the contender wants to surpass the former. Here, deciding on a dedicated system that will outperform the other’s solutions may be necessary. A market leader using SaaS software can quickly lose its position, as it may suddenly turn out that a half of its peers use the same solutions. If your IT system provides your competitive advantage, losing uniqueness may lead to falling off the podium. A unique system is also a good way of building market entry barriers. 

Dedicated solutions are also good for niche players – in this case, universal systems can prove to be non-functional and fail to meet more specific individual needs.

Should you create a dedicated system or modify existing software?

When you look for IT solutions for your company, often it turns out that even the largest manufacturers do not offer systems that would meet your expectations. You have two choices then – modify ready-made software or write a dedicated system. Is it better to modify or write a system from scratch? Let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages of each option.

Pros and cons of dedicated software

The upsides:

  • freedom from recurring license costs and fees
  • a perfect fit for company needs

The downsides:

  • further development generates high costs
  • features need to be designed from scratch on your own
  • fairly high expenses for production

Strong and weak sides of modifying systems

The upsides:

  • quick business effects
  • relatively low implementation cost

The downsides:

  • expenses for maintenance
  • high cost of system modifications
  • problems related with system upgrades

Which solution is more financially viable?

There are many reasons why a dedicated system is worth considering. One of them is cost. When using a ready-made, extensive system, we might be using only a fraction of its functions, but we have to pay for it all. In the case of dedicated solutions, we only pay for the necessary elements. 

If a cost analysis shows that a dedicated system is the most cost-effective, we still need to consider the cost of maintenance. Many companies make the same mistake and overlook the costs related to system maintenance and development. Unfortunately, in the case of dedicated solutions, we have to pay for these. To sum up, creating a dedicated solution is the best choice in many cases, but we must be aware of all the consequences that follow.

Dedicated is not always the same thing

The correct method of implementing a dedicated solution is also important, especially in a world of millions of ready-made components supporting the work of programmers. Should it take the form of open source components and frameworks, or shared cloud services, such as AWS Lambda, to facilitate application development? 

When working with a good team, we can get a solution that is functionally dedicated, yet completely repeatable in terms of the elements used, which are under constant development. In this case, we are responsible for creating not only the business logic, but developing the basic components through in upgrading and replacing them, rather than writing everything from scratch. In each case, both functional and non-functional requirements are of importance.

Unity Group as an ideal partner in digital transformation

Implementing a perfect IT system is as difficult as choosing it. The decision is not an obvious one and depends on many factors, so the best option is to use help from a digital transformation partner. A company that will advise, dispel any doubts and help with the design.

Such a partner is Unity Group. We takes care of business security by choosing popular and supported frameworks and components. This allows us to implement every project with its costs 100% optimized.

Unity Group acts comprehensively, starting from analysis, through design and to implementation, choosing only proven and optimal solutions.

If you are interested in dedicated IT systems and want to learn more about the services associated with them, please explore our offer in the area of application architecture and software development.

This article has also been published in the May issue of BrandsIT magazine – https://brandsit.pl/magazyn/ (available in Polish only).

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