Customisation is not a dirty word, but IT executives often rant about how it has made their department’s work an expensive and complex nightmare of patches, regression coding, and barriers to upgrading the software. It was never intended to be that way. The whole notion of customisation was born out of vendors’ desire to support a variety of business models. Every business is unique with particular IT needs. Businesses want the flexibility to tailor their systems to what they need. Applications in most on-premise systems were developed for the lowest common denominator, addressing the functionality and features most common to the majority of customers.

Many vendors claim to offer a flexible system with APIs that can extend applications or the customer can purchase middleware like Business Process Management (BPM) and integration solutions. These options aim to extend the functionality of an application beyond what’s in the box. The promise of an open, flexible system looks great, but many CIOs and IT executives don’t want the trouble that ensues when they try it.

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