28 January 2008 | Paul Snell
An increasing number of businesses are buying ready-made "industry specific" software rather than more general or customised programmes.
But some firms are concerned that this approach, which aims to improve information and reduce costs, will leave them too reliant on single suppliers, according to a report.
A study by the Economist Intelligence Unit found that buying software with features specific to your firm's sector saves time and money compared with building your own programmes from scratch, or customising "off-the-shelf" applications.
But buyers expressed concerns that having a single supplier could threaten a firm's security, and would make them too dependant on one provider for maintenance or upgrades.
The benefits of industry specific software include lower costs, faster implementation and easier integration with existing IT than customised applications. But it offers less control over specific features.
IT buyers were also worried about the larger providers dominating the market, therefore reducing competition and innovation.