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Off-the-shelf (OTS) software products are ready-made software that is commercially sold to the public (Webopedia, 2007). In-house software applications are those that are developed within the IT department and custom made for the required application of the company. STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM The purpose of this article analysis is to produce three questions from the article and generate comments from it. The questions generated are all in relation to what this article is trying to say. ARTICLE ANALYSIS What are the advantages/disadvantages of OTS Software?
According to the article, OTS software is advantageous in the sense that the cost can be projected with greater certainty.
But on the other hand, any variation into the application had to be worked out from its I/O otherwise it can’t be used. Much effort is required to put the capabilities of an OTS to function on a variant application. Another minor drawback is the cost of yearly licensing which an indirect form of maintenance.
Although on the brighter side, this could be cheaper than maintain a whole IT group to do maintenance for it.
What are the advantages/disadvantages of In-house Software? In-house software is advantageous in the sense that software can be tailored to what the company application requires. It can be optimized for that purpose. This also brings company the costly IT department to develop and maintain it. According to the article, in-house software development puts the company under the hands of its IT department and the department must keep up with the quality of software required.
What is the best choice of software, OTS or In-house? The article tends to lean on the idea that in-house software is by far the best choice. Although he cautioned, that he is concern whether the IT department can maintain the quality of the IT output over the long run. There is problem with this argument because he only focuses on the weakness of OTS software and makes this as a leverage to rationalize the advantage of in-house software. For example the document does not consider much regarding the quality of software.
Although the author cautioned but it lacks emphasis in the discussion when in fact it is one of the most important aspect. There is a very big possibility that in the long run, ready-made software are more reliable over in-house software. Ready-made software products are used by a greater population and bugs along the way are corrected in the long run. This together with the cost of in-house development proves to be a considerable factor. The conclusion of which is better will depend on the type of application required.
When the application required can be found on ready-made software, then OTS products are better option. However if the application is very far from it and there is a clear possibility that it will be used for a long time then an in-house software might prove more cost-effective.
CONCLUSION The reasons provide by the article are quite solid but on the other hand, the author failed to put an emphasis on the quality of software and the closeness between the required application and present OTS software.
With these two, the decision of whether which approach is more cost-effective depends on the required functionality. If there are no existing OTS that can do the application required and the application will be used for a long time, then in-house software is the best option. Otherwise, if the application required is already captured by mature OTS software in the market, then OTS software is a better choice.
Unknown. (2007). Attached Article Unknown. (2007). COTS. Webopedia Website. Retrieved on February 25, 2007 from http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/C/COTS.html
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