Standard software vs individual software

Standard software vs individual software

It’s not just those who travel a lot for work who are faced with this decision from time to time: use the well-paved road like everyone else or explore your own new paths? The same applies to the question that many companies ask themselves when introducing a CRM solution: do you prefer standard software or an individual solution? We compared the advantages and disadvantages of these two options. Find out how other companies decide and how you can reap the benefits both ways.

Advantages of standard software

In many areas of enterprise computing, most companies rely on off-the-shelf software, that is, software products that have been developed for a large number of customers. The so-called big advantage is obvious: as one of many customers, companies only pay one fraction of development costs. At least at first glance, this variant seems cheaper than developing a custom-made solution.

64% of companies expect optimized customer management at a lower cost when introducing a standard solution. This was revealed by the study “CRM Report 2020: The potential of digitization” by BÖCKER ZIEMEN Customer Insight Consultants and ADITO. Companies also see faster project implementation as equally important. More than half of respondents also see the advantage of standard solutions in Benefit from best practices.

Problems with (too) high software standardization

In the field of CRM and marketing, sales and service software, standard solutions work with functions that are mostly suitable for many companies. However, special requirements and business processes often cannot be mapped 100%. Before you compromise with an off-the-shelf solution, you need to ask yourself if these internal processes are what made your business unique and contributed significantly to its success.

According to the CRM Report 2020, a major problem with the introduction of a standard solution is that companies less differentiated from the competition and their competitiveness suffers.

Advantages and disadvantages of the standard software at a glance:

advantages Disadvantages
  • More cost effective project implementation
  • Insufficiently mapped business processes
  • Faster software implementation
  • No differentiation with the competition
  • Benefit from best practices

Companies expect these benefits from individual software

The greatest advantage of an individual solution lies in the adequate mapping of business processes – also with regard to future requirements. What emerges from the two previous studies Expectations of tomorrow’s CRM solution from 2018 and CRM Monitor 2019: Customer experience as a factor of tomorrow’s success was again confirmed in 2020: 71% see it as the most important argument stronger in favor of an individual solution. After all, your own business strategy and vision cannot be mapped using standard software without losing its individuality.

In addition, nearly half of respondents expect a Competitive advantage by differentiating itself from the competition.

Risks of custom software

There is an effort behind an individual solution: the software is tailored to your company’s needs. The development process takes a long time and can last several months. Also, many companies doubt the publishability of their own solution. Not all software vendors can do this Ability to release individual settings guarantee.

Finally, the cost factor of individual solutions also plays an important role. The implementation of special requirements, tailored to the respective company, requires accordingly high development costs.

Advantages and disadvantages of the individual solution at a glance

advantages Disadvantages
  • competitive differentiation
  • Time-consuming development process
  • Ideal mapping of business processes
  • Adequate mapping of future needs
  • loss of ability to release

Individualized standard software is the optimal CRM solution

As the two CRM studies from 2018 and 2019 have already shown, flexible and customizable standard solutions are the best strategy in the area of ​​CRM, which combine the advantages of individual and standard software. Standard best practice processes are extended to include individual business requirements and are designed to be sustainable through release capability. This allows business-critical processes to be mapped quickly and cost-effectively.

The CRM Report 2020 shows that the Trend towards flexible and customizable standard solutions keep on going. The majority of respondents agreed that a solution can provide the best possible support if it fits the business perfectly. A flexible platform creates the best conditions for this. The 2018 trend is now stabilized. More and more companies are moving towards standard, customizable CRM software.

In the second step, special industry solutions can already map a large part of the required processes. Company-specific features enter the CRM via individual adjustments. In this way, companies benefit from the rapid introduction of standard and industrial modules and a tailor-made solution.

Connectivity is key to CRM success

Networking the CRM solution with the rest of the company’s IT landscape is also crucial. For many companies, there is still potential here: in the study “Expectations on the CRM solution of tomorrow”, only 25% said that their CRM solution in the company was sufficiently connected.

Many CRM solutions already offer interfaces to other IT systems as standard. However, our experience also shows that almost all companies still need individual adjustments for optimal implementation of the CRM strategy are necessary. Because in practice, an IT landscape that has developed over the years often has its own peculiarities: partially obsolete systems are only gradually renewed. Standard connectors quickly reach their limits. A flexible and open solution and a modular structure have proven themselves here.

How you can benefit from both approaches

Businesses today are changing rapidly – software solutions must evolve just as quickly in order to meet the demands. Only this is how a company stays competitive and can bring innovations to market quickly. You can avoid the risk that in-house developments and highly individualized solutions have to struggle with publishing capacity with a platform that has basic functionality as standard and can still be expanded flexibly.

In order to be able to react quickly, you must rely on a flexible and customizable standard solution. Out-of-the-box standard modules often offer basic functions for CRM, such as sales, marketing and service processes. Thanks to the customization options, these can be precisely adapted to the actual processes and the CRM can be networked with the existing IT infrastructure. This is how your business wins reactivity. Which path do you want to take for your CRM strategy?

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