Canned solutions are readymade solutions
available off the shelf in the market. These solutions get refined with
each implementation and take care of a large number of operational nuances.
Whereas, customized solutions are tailor made for the problem at
hand. One needs to pay for the features and flexibility required rather
than the standard features built in by the standard solution supplier.
Some of the salient features of these solutions are:
Canned solutions are less flexible in comparison
to customized solutions. At the same time they are based upon some of
the best practices followed in the industry. On the other hand Decision
Support Systems based upon mathematical modeling that need to incorporate
company specific constraints into the system, are Custom built.
Both type of solutions have their own advantages and disadvantages. Generally
for all execution systems (transactional systems) standard solutions
are a better bet. Whereas, for planning customized solutions at a reasonable
price find more acceptance from the clients. ERP systems like SAP,
JDE, Oracle also have the planning components. However, due to the complexity
in planning and the amount of flexibility required, client pays for features
that actually are not required. And, client specific constraints are difficult
to build into a standard solution.
The complete solution from technology supplier
may include "canned" solution or other solution that was customized
for another company, which may or may not be very similar to your company.
These applications may meet some of your specific needs but will definitely
require additional costly customizations, integrations, and possibly proprietary
hardware, software, networking equipment, or interfaces. Furthermore,
there will usually be annual upgrade costs and required support contract
fees. Unfortunately, your suggestions for improvements, requests for enhancements,
requirements for corrections to errors and other "bugs", and
requirements for your growth and expansion are usually only "slated"
for consideration in the next expensive "release" -- which can
be six months to a year or more -- and may or may not be part of that
release, depending on what other users of the same system have requested,
or how "marketable" your suggestions will be to future users.
In case of customized solution, technology provider works directly with the client team and takes into account company specific objectives, priorities, current systems, constraints and other details.
Finally, the choice between Canned solution and Customized solution depends upon the application area. For transactional systems, standard solutions make more sense and for planning solutions based upon mathematical algorithms, customized solutions are more suited.