Class - This week we have introduced the concept of COTS software. What is COTS software? What are the benefits
of using COTS software? Are there any disadvantages of this type of software?
The idea of COTS (Commercial Off-the-Shelf) refers to a type of software that an organization can purchase from an
outside organization that creates the type of software the company needs for its business or work. Many
companies usually do not have their own development teams and the funding that would be required to start one
of these teams to develop their own patented software could take millions of dollars to eventually come to fruition.
Enter COTS; the software can be implemented with ease without ever having to contract for a large Information
Systems team, which would be costly for the organization. The outside software is easy to implement into the
business because the outside producer of the software keeps it updated naturally. However, there are some
drawbacks. For one, sometimes the software in question fits one purpose or is made with the intention for general
distribution. If a company wishes to purchase this software, they would need to be aware it would not be tailored
to their needs; if they had their own IS department, specific software may be developed for the given company.
The company in question also does not dictate when service updates are provided. If a bug or issue is found with
the software, the company made need to wait for the COTS company to provide a service update when it is ready
to be rolled out.
Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS) is a software package that you purchase that is ready for use right out of the box
with none or some configuration.
Some of these items are easier products to use and implement such as Microsoft
Office Products or stand alone things as Adobe Acrobat Professional, Adobe Professional, etc.
complicated tasks or items a COTS item may not 100% fit the bill of your needs but it may fill most of it.
It could be
a lot less expensive to implement and purchase.
With COTS you also have the ability (at a reasonable cost typically)
to acquire support, maintenance, and various warranties from the manufacture or a third party vendor.