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Bespoke infrastructures

Diomidis Spinellis
IEEE Software, vol. 31 (2014), pp. 12-14


Infrastructure developed within an organization for its own internal use can take many forms. The obvious reason for creating a bespoke solution is that it can be tailored to fit the organization's unique needs. This can offer many advantages: better performance, increased flexibility, and tactical or strategic advantages over the competition. However, such solutions are associated with a steep learning curve for newcomers, maintenance and support costs, and the risk of hijacking by groups with vested interests. Given that investment in bespoke infrastructures is a sunk cost and that these polarize the types of employees that stay in the organization, rational approaches for building an organization's infrastructure include customizing a general-purpose solution or adopting an open-source tool and improving it to address the organization's requirements.