The essential difference is that in generic software product development, the specification is owned by the product developer. For custom product development, the specification is owned and controlled by the customer. The implications of this are that the developer can quickly decide to change the specification in response to some external change, but when the customer owns the specification, changes have to be negotiated between the customer and the developer and may have contractual implications. For users of generic products, this means they have no control over the software specification so cannot control the evolution of the product. The developer may decide to include/exclude features and change the user interface. This could have implications for the user’s business processes and add extra training costs when new versions of the system are installed. It also may limit the customer’s flexibility to change their own business processes.


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