Why is selecting a specialist software application different to conventional software selection?
Specialist applications have to integrate with your other legacy systems. That means they have to be compatible in terms of hardware, software and application integration - like sharing common database files. It's not like buying a new computer with just one application on it. Specialist applications have to integrate into your existing business systems architecture. That means that they have to be adaptable as no company's systems architecture is the same as any other companies - there are too many variables. So the secret of success is finding products that can integrate with your present systems with the minimum of inconvenience and cost.
In many cases companies are turning to stand-alone specialist applications rather than upgrade the existing enterprise-wide applications (ERP) that may also have this added functionality in a later release or bolt-on. The software industry invariably writes its new applications for the latest hardware, software and database version. That means if your company has not installed the latest version of the operating system, or the latest 'office' suite, or the latest version of the database, or the latest high-spec displays, or the latest maximum memory - it may be precluded for installing the latest version of its core business system. Of course it could also be that your company has invested in specialist application developments which will have to be re-written if the core system was upgraded. Very often other departments may not wish their systems to be changed and would object to any changes to the system that may affect them.
The beauty of specialist applications is that they may not require you to upgrade your existing system hardware and applications to work.
With tight IT budgets, project managers are required to show a return on the investment in IT. It is not good enough anymore to be ahead of the competition with a strategic IT advantage, companies want to see financial proof that the investment is going to pay for itself. Trying to find the financial justification for an IT project is not easy.
The key reasons why companies typically change their IT systems are:
To Download a copy of Dennis Keeling's 'Selecting a Specialist Application' Booklet - click Download .