The system software, being specific to a given category of computer hardware, performs the same set of operations on all computer systems in that category.
Therefore, ready-made software would serve the purpose of any enterprise if it is compatible with computer hardware in that category as the number of users of a given category of computer hardware is generally very large, the cost of developing system software can be distributed over a large number of users.
As a result, buying the system software becomes the only economically rational option with the user. In fact, most of the system software is developed in collaboration with hardware manufacturers and is procured by users, off the shelf in the form of ready-made software package. It is only the application software and query software that offer options with regard to their procurement.
The decision regarding procurement of application software may be influenced by a host of factors, the prime factors being the nature of the application, the evolution and the present size of the IT infrastructure. For example, if the computing facility in an enterprise has grown from a few Personal Computers (PCs), there is a high possibility that the application software library of the enterprise is rich with ready-made software packages.
Better Resources Usage
Readymade applications allow its developers to invest far more time and effort in the process of developing and assuring the quality of their products because there is a single “project” that needs to be managed and developed. This also provides a stable environment that promotes accumulation of experience and skill that is directed solely for that project. In addition, the project becomes less dependent on the individuals involved in its development and more poised towards teamwork. Software houses that adapt the readymade approach can usually allocate much more human resources to each project than what custom tailors can do.
On the other hand, custom tailors cannot allocate as much resources to each “project” simply because there are as many projects as there are customers. Consequently, the development process itself becomes highly dependent on the individuals involved with each customer’s projects and less resilient to staff and work environment change.
Better Quality Assurance Mechanisms
Software houses that adapt the readymade approach usually dedicate a whole department for testing and quality assurance. This is simply possible because there is one, or a few, projects at hand with clearly defined specifications and requirements. QA departments will then be able to develop stable and manageable testing and quality assurance procedures and measures because software specifications do not undergo major or minor change for each and every client. For this reason, readymade applications always enjoy higher quality than tailored applications.
On the other hand, tailoring software houses cannot afford to establish and fund dedicated QA departments for each project because each client is his own project that differs, slightly or greatly, from other projects. It becomes quite difficult to come up with repeatable and proven test scenarios and procedures. Therefore tailoring software houses usually ask the clients themselves to be the testers as a solution to this dilemma. A more usual scenario erupts when defects show during live operation therefore reducing efficiency and compromising the trust users should have in software that runs the lifeline of their business.