INFO340 off-the-shelf

Review the criteria for selecting off-the-shelf software presented in this chapter. Use your experience and imagination and describe other criteria that are, or might be used to select off-the-shelf software in the real world. For each new criterion, explain how its use might be functional (i.e., it is useful to use this criterion…), dysfunctional, or both.

Once you have decided to purchase off-the-shelf software rather than write some or all of the software for your new system, how do you decide what to buy? Several criteria need consideration, and special ones may arise with each potential software purchase. For each standard, an explicit comparison should be made between the software package and the process of developing the same application in-house. The most common criteria, highlighted in Figure 2-2
, are as follows:

 Comparison of Six Different SourcesSotware Components


When to Go to This Type of Organization for Software

Internal Staffing Requirements

IT services firms

When task requires custom support and system can’t be built internally or system needs to be sourced

Internal staff may be needed, depending on application

Packaged software producers

When supported task is generic

Some IS and user staff to define requirements and evaluate packages

Enterprise solutions vendors

For complete systems that cross functional boundaries

Some internal staff necessary but mostly need consultants

Application service providers and/or managed service providers

For instant access to an application; when supported task is generic (ASP only)

Few; both ASP and MSP free up staff for other IT work

Open-source software

When supported task is generic but cost is an issue

Some IS and user staff to define requirements and evaluate packages

In-house developers

When resources and staff are available and system must be built from scratch

Internal staff necessary though staff size may vary

■ Cost

■ Functionality

■ Vendor support

■ Viability of vendor

■ Flexibility

■ Documentation

■ Response time

■ Ease of installation

■ Cost■ Functionality■ Vendor support■ Viability of vendor■ Flexibility■ Documentation■ Response time■ Ease of installation  

Only need a brief explanation. About a paragraph. Looking for someone to answer this question in as few as two hours.

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