Bitrix Study Demonstrates the End of the Era of Custom-Built Content Management and Social Intranet Solutions

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Transparent TCO, predictable security and ready-to-go functionality of off-the-shelf solutions deliver advantages to SMBs in cutting implementation costs, improving business continuity and evading development risks

Bitrix

Bitrix is one of the world's largest vendors of social collaboration and content management solutions

Off-the-shelf CMS/intranet software demonstrates lower TCO, lower deployment labor costs, faster add-on development and faster time-to-market compared to custom-built solutions

Bitrix, Inc., a technology trendsetter in business communications, introduces a new study of the top five reasons off-the-shelf CMS and social intranet software offer clear advantages over custom-built solutions. The study demonstrates that the functionality and availability of off-the-shelf software makes in-house development obsolete in terms of total cost of ownership, security and associated risks.

At present, there is still wide-spread use of custom-built CMS’s to power website management, e-commerce, e-marketing and social intranet solutions. Heavily backed up by internal development teams and third-party consultants, such systems are presented as providing better security, highly-customized functionality at lower cost, and as allowing organizations to evade the highly-publicized dilemma of vendor lock-in by delivering true ownership.

“In reality, development in the CMS market puts these selling points under considerable question as off-the-shelf software demonstrates lower TCO, lower deployment labor costs, faster add-on development and faster time-to-market compared to custom-built solutions,” said Dmitry Valyanov, President of Bitrix, Inc.

Custom-built solutions entail a wide range of development and implementation risks. According to the Standish Group, in 2009 only 32% of software projects were considered to be successful while 44% were partially successful and 24% simply failed. Considered along with the limited ability to evaluate and predict the whole range of required functionality, these risks make it nearly impossible to estimate the solution’s TCO or to take into account the necessary security measures.

The security aspect of custom-built solutions often appeals to the fact they are more secure due to their limited usage and proprietary architecture. In fact, the security here is better described as unpredictable rather than robust. For developers who do not specialize in security, it is hard to address all the relevant issues, let alone that security is a moving target. Conversely, off-the-shelf software vendors normally adhere to secure development practices, integrate security frameworks and regularly release free product updates. As a result, custom-built solutions have a greater vulnerability to targeted attacks and likelihood of application backdoors, inadvertent or otherwise, left by programmers. To ensure the solution’s security, organizations must perform third-party security testing and code audits that significantly increase costs.

Importantly, the highly-publicized vendor lock-in problem clearly misleads organizations about the nature of the issue. With custom-built solutions, organizations fall into dependence on internal development teams or third-party consultants – leading to much greater continuity risks in comparison to established software vendors.

The custom functionality to address specific business needs is another myth that doesn’t stand up to criticism in the current market of off-the-shelf CMS software. Though a valid point in the market’s early stages, solutions now cover a wide range of business requirements based on thorough market research and customer feedback from the product’s installed base. Additionally, the availability of an open API, source code and community support in a hybrid-licensed CMS (for example, Bitrix Site Manager and Bitrix Intranet opens up a wide range of opportunities for customization, integration with legacy business applications and true software ownership.

On the flip side, custom-built solutions conceal certain business drawbacks both for organizations needing CMS software, third-party consultants and web development companies. In-house development distracts resources from the core competence and makes it a rather questionable investment with recurring expenses.

Learn more details about advantages of the off-the-shelf CMS over custom-built solutions in a dedicated white paper.

About Bitrix, Inc.
Bitrix is a privately-owned company developing an advanced business communications platform to bridge SMBs with their customers (Internet), partners (Extranet) and employees (Intranet). Founded in 1998 and headquartered in Alexandria, VA, Bitrix is rated #3 most popular commercial CMS by W3Techs with 50,000+ installations and 6,000+ partners worldwide. Key customers include: Hyundai, Zurich Insurance, Panasonic, Gazprom, Xerox, PricewaterhouseCoopers, DPD, VTB, Samsung and Condé Nast. Localized into 13 languages, the company’s products are distinguished for their pioneering technology, hybrid-licensing approach, unique security features, performance and ease-of-use.

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Denis Zenkin
Bitrix, Inc.
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