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Hello,

We have a policy of not modifying baseline code in our ERP system (we're running Banner).  We're often asked to provide functionality that would necessitate core code changes, and we explain that we have a policy against it, and why. Typically, cost avoidance is the most compelling argument we advance.

What I don't have is hard, quantitative data to support our contention that modifying baseline code imposes real costs on the organization; everyone agrees that this must be true, but we don't have the numbers to back it up.

Can anyone point me toward studies, surveys or other data to help me quantify the potential costs involved in modifying delivered code?  Comparisons of IT development staff size for similar institutions with dis-similar polices regarding baseline code modification would be perfect, but I'm open to suggestions on how to advance a defensible argument.

Thanks,

Robert Goffeney
Senior Director, Enterprise Systems
Eastern Michigan University
robert.goffeney@emich.edu
734-487-3428

********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.

Comments

Hi Bob,

its not just the resource cost impact, but modifying core core will potentially void your support agreement with your vendor.

Some ERP systems now-adays (don't know about Banner), have the supported capability of "customizations in/out". This allows the technical group to remove their customizations in advance of installing a new release from the vendor, testing the new base code, then applying (hopefully) the local modifications.
Hope this is helpful.

...doug.

From: "Bob Goffeney" <rgoffene@EMICH.EDU>
To: STRATPLAN@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU
Sent: Thursday, 8 December, 2011 12:45:50 PM
Subject: [STRATPLAN] Costs incurred in modifying packaged apps

Hello,

We have a policy of not modifying baseline code in our ERP system (we're running Banner).  We're often asked to provide functionality that would necessitate core code changes, and we explain that we have a policy against it, and why. Typically, cost avoidance is the most compelling argument we advance.

What I don't have is hard, quantitative data to support our contention that modifying baseline code imposes real costs on the organization; everyone agrees that this must be true, but we don't have the numbers to back it up.

Can anyone point me toward studies, surveys or other data to help me quantify the potential costs involved in modifying delivered code?  Comparisons of IT development staff size for similar institutions with dis-similar polices regarding baseline code modification would be perfect, but I'm open to suggestions on how to advance a defensible argument.

Thanks,

Robert Goffeney
Senior Director, Enterprise Systems
Eastern Michigan University
robert.goffeney@emich.edu
734-487-3428

********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.



--
D. Douglas Badger, CGA CISA CGEIT CRISC
Director, IT Portfolio Management & Systems Assurance
www.uoguelph.ca/cio/content/portfolio-management-office
Office of the CIO
www.uoguelph.ca/cio
University of Guelph


My current quote:  "I am wounded, but not slain.  I shall lay me down and bleed awhile, then rise to fight again."
...Ancient Scottish proverb (first published 1658)

********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.

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