Decisions Blog

When “Commercial Off The Shelf” is Struggling…

There are many situations where a commercial off the shelf software solution can be used to solve a specific problem very well. These problem domains are typically universal and common among every business. Some are stratified by the size of the enterprise – because some problems really don’t cause too much pain until you have over 5,000 employees. Some are specific to a certain industry vertical. 

However, when these off the shelf solutions meet the limits of universal application and your business requires work to be done differently than how the off the shelf solution dictates – you have a problem. This problem itself is not uncommon. We think that most off the shelf solutions do a great job accommodating 80% of a given problem domain. That 80% is generally a universally accepted pattern of activities that support a given problem domain. But that 20% that is not universal is arguably the most important portion of the solution – as it defines how a customer ties those generally accepted activities to how the customers organization makes decisions. How they manage touchpoints with other systems, and how they engage different people in the process. 

The 20% is what Decisions is all about. We want to provide a rapidly configurable business logic layer that let’s business analysts define interactions with people and systems to get work done. We think this is incredibly important as that 20% is really what makes an organization unique – it is in many cases where the competitive advantage exists. 

Many organizations find Decisions after traveling down two paths: 

  1. Searched for an off the shelf solution that does things exactly how they do (or want to do) work, but failed. 
  2. Struggled through customizing an off the shelf solution to meet how they do work, but ultimately struggle with the time and costs associated with continued optimization.