I commonly speak with companies looking for assistance with system integration projects, to allow their multiple software systems to work with each other. For example, financial systems like Xero or MYOB working together with their line of business applications like their CRM (Customer Relationship Management) or ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning).While some systems integrate well out of the box, in most circumstances there will be some customization required. It’s somewhat of an abstract concept, so let’s look at an analogy for a moment.You could compare system customization to renovations on your house. The builder sells you the dream, but once they get started, the costs start adding up. If the builder does a less than stellar job, the next builder won’t want to touch it. What you’re then left with is a half-finished project that can be a money drain.So let’s talk about some important things you need to consider, as customization can have a few catches.Firstly, there is a cost. It’s always chargeable labour, and the bigger software companies will make it worth their while. Customizations through original software vendors will generally cost several thousands of dollars-- if you’re lucky.On the other hand, if you use a smaller developer, you will have to consider what will happen if that person leaves your company. If it is heavily customized, we must also consider who gets the source code.These facts need to be carefully considered before getting excited about a spiel like “it can all be done with customization no problem, just sign here”.When looking at systems and integration, carefully consider the facts. If you can see it is working the way you want it to, then go ahead.If you have not managed system integration or customisations projects before, it’s best to have an IT expert with experience that is on your side. This will help to steer you though the decision making process, and avoid unnecessarily high costs or a ballooning in project scope. If you're looking for experienced help with your next technology project, give us a call on (02) 8412 0000 for a free quote.