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Weighing up the pros and cons of off-the-shelf vs custom data solutions

Choosing between an off-the-shelf or custom data solution for your business can be tricky. Our list of pros and cons will help to guide you.
09 September 2020 Tristan Davies

It’s not easy to choose a data management solution for your business with the myriad options that are available to you. To further complicate this decision-making process, you also have to choose between buying an off-the-shelf product or opting for a tailored solution. This can be overwhelming. That’s why we want to equip you with all the info you need to find the right fit for your business.

We’ve found that nothing works better than a good, old-fashioned list of pros and cons. There are benefits and drawbacks to each of the two, but we’ve found that it really comes back to the top three influencers: budget, business needs and after-sales support.

The price tag

  • More often than not, an off-the-shelf solution will turn out to be cheaper. But as the popular saying goes, cheaper is not always better. You might end up paying more for add-ons and software updates as your business grows and your data needs evolve.
  • We all know that paying for custom items is heavier on the pocket but that’s for good reason. You might pay more upfront for a custom data solution but in the end, you’ll get all the features and functionality that no one-size-fits-all package will be able to cover. It’s also more cost-effective in the long run to have tailored solutions if your business requires intricate solutions that scale as your operations grow.

What it needs to do

  • You get exactly what you pay for when you buy off the shelf. You’ll have to pay extra for whatever isn’t covered in the original package. You might find that the solution isn’t intuitive enough to run your data environment and then end up investing in a whole new system. What a waste of time and money!
  • The opportunities are near-limitless when you choose a custom data solution. You can choose the features you need, the software integration your environment requires and the level of scalability to suit your business growth.

After you’ve paid

  • Once you’ve signed on the proverbial dotted line for your off-the-shelf package, you get access to their stock support network that could also include community forums. This allows you to troubleshoot with other users without even having to ring up a call centre. You’ll also find online reviews of the solutions and how-to guides before you’ve even made a purchase.
  • A custom data solution might not offer the same public support network, but you do get personalised service with your personalised offering. This means more expertise at your disposal that can provide you with the exact insights you need quicker.

Decisions, decisions, decisions

Making a decision about the efficiency and safety of your critical data can be hard. But thankfully, we have something to help you with that. Our intuitive decision-making tool will help direct you to the right solution for your data needs. Simply tell us what you need and we’ll do the background work for you. Give our decision tool a try here.

Ready to go custom?

At STS, we understand that every business manages different quantities and types of data. Our data back-up and recovery solutions are especially catered to suit your unique requirements and can easily scale as your business grows.

Speak to one of our data experts about how we can help build a data management solution that’s as unique as your business. Already know what you need? Then add the solution to your enquiry basket on our website and we’ll get in touch with you.

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