To code, or not to code, that is the question! When implementing a software solution, one of the most difficult parts to comprehend long-term might be the difference between customization and configuration. Sure, they sound the same, but that’s about all they share when it comes to commonalities. It’s very important to understand the difference between customization and configuration before choosing a solution so you can be aware of how that might affect your processes later down the road.
- Customization: New code is written to meet exact specifications and add new capability that was not previously available.
- Configuration: Fits a solution to your needs using only options that come with an out-of-the-box installation. Your vendor has a supplied menu with built-in workflow tools to create the functionality that fits your processes.
So what would work best for your organization? Decisions, decisions… Below, are three questions to ponder while considering how you might use customization, configuration, or mostly likely, a combination of both.
Which one will break the bank?
Customization requires a lot of work and potentially many service hours, so it’s no surprise that it can come with a heavy cost. Although customization tailors a solution to very specific needs, if those needs change, you may need to change the code as well. Configuration allows you to make changes to your solution without any coding skills, and therefore, without needing to pay anyone to do so.
Which one requires the most maintenance?
With customization and the coding involved, resolving issues can be time-consuming and difficult, especially if you have minimal IT support. The rigidness of custom code also means problems might arise more often. Configuration issues can be rectified a lot faster and often with less, if any, technical support.
Which one is prone to the most complications?
Whenever code needs to be built to fix or expand functionality, there’s a chance that the code won’t work well with the original software. What do you do then? Pray to the coding gods and hope for the best? Even bigger problems can arise if you have a large upgrade – problems so big that you might even have to switch to a completely different application. For this reason, many organizations hold off on upgrades to avoid dealing with these tedious complications.
Using a highly configurable solution is often much easier than tailoring your software to your operations. With that being said, even though configuration seems like the obvious choice between the two, it’s hard to find a successful solution without using any code at all. The goal is to try to minimize customization as much as possible and figure out ways to replace code with simpler processes.
DataBank has assisted many organizations with implementing successful business process solutions that produce high ROIs. For more information, download our case study below!