workflow workflow software user interface development database development services ms access database business process software it projects management user interface designing project developer access development cost effective it it project manager

How Much Customization Is the Right Amount?

By Thomas Eklund

This article combines some concepts from IT, economics and business management.

As far as business applications are concerned, professional customization is the key to profitability. There are simple reasons for this. Your company needs to differentiate itself positively from the competition in order to be competitive. The more closely an application is configured to handle the tasks the way your company works, so that every step of the way the application helps to generate more value for you than you pay for it, the better investment it is for you.

Sufficiently customized, high quality application makes the application users more productive, increases user satisfaction, and in the case of business applications, helps to increase revenue and to provide better management tools.

Database application customization is one aspects that determines its quality. The question is, how much customization should be done, and how much effort should be put into working on other aspects that determine application's quality, so that the end result would be a good deal for you?

These tasks that the application's future users perform very few times or very seldom, are not good candidates for programmatic implementation, if the development time exceeds the task performing time. However, all these tasks that involve - or could involve - computer usage and are performed more than a few times, are good candidates for computerization, if the total task performing time and cost clearly exceed the relevant development time and cost.

For the customer, quality and customization are worthwhile investments to the point where MC=MB.

MC - marginal cost

MB - marginal benefits

This statement means that up to the point, where additional cost equals the additional benefits, additional customization and improving application's quality pay for themselves, because you will get more value from the end results than you will have to pay for them.