Ever notice how the same "size" of a pair of jeans can differ radically from pair to pair. Might be shrinkage, might be stretchage — whatever — but they don't all fit the same. And, when you get a pair of jeans, even if they are the right size, you have to wear them for a while before they are yours.

If this happens with something as simple as a pair of jeans, how much more complicated must it be with a piece of software? Horrendously more complicated. But the people who sell you software in a box don't want to talk about that. Who can blame them? For them, it's one-size fits all. Or, "This one is juuuuuuust right for you."

Unfortunately, Big Tech lies.

EVEN IF off-the-rack or out out-of-the-box technology works for you, the cost is never the sticker price. No no, the cost for supposedly "ready to go" software is always the sticker price plus the time, energy and lost productivity during the integration period for that "easy" to "plug-in" new "module."

Further still, pre-packaged software lacks the a majorsurprise upside; custom software requires a re-evaluation of the business models and process that had you originally hunting for a new technology investment in the first place. By assuming you can just purchase your way to more profits, scalability, efficiencies or robust automation, no one actually takes the time to examine the new opportunities to make or save money.

When purchasing off-the-shelf software, there's no possibility of creating something that works so well it becomes a competitive advantage. Or, even, a product you can license.

The hidden cost of off-the-rack aren't just your integration costs. The real cost of off-the-rack is leaving the possibility of transformative change off the table. Unrealized innovation.

Hidden Costs of Off-the-Shelf Software

  • seat licensees, use-it-or-lose-it maintenance, all the stuff you already hate
  • surprise integration costs
  • missed productivity hacks because new business process automation was never addressed
  • lost opportunities for sellable/licensable IP

Transformative change and innovation are scary, we get it. And if you're not willing to explore those possibilities, we won't blame you. We're just not going to work with you.

[Call IBM. They're always happy to over-bill on a mediocre project.]