Configuration Vs. Customization

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As a software marketer I’m faced with a problem: configuration vs. customization. The difference may not be much to an outsider or prospect, but to many in the software world the difference is clear and could be seen as a taboo by some. Here’s the difference:

  • Customization – When you’re in code, changing the way something works or functions for someone, it’s a customization. Typically this is done by a software company for a client or possibly a client’s IT department. Read below for the problem.
  • Configuration – When a user can add their own logo, create a drop-down, or rename fields, this is a configuration. There was no involvement necessary from the software company and the user was able to build their own app very easily.

The Problem

There is overlap now and the line isn’t as clear for a typical consumer. Configuration and customization have become one thing in a users mind. When a user configures something for them, they are essentially customizing their software to best fit their needs, so to them there is no difference. Another way to look at it is this – you can add new wheels to your car and make it look how you want or you can chop away the stock springs, carve out the wheel wells and add hydraulics. The first way you simply took the stock car and added new wheels, the second way you took the stock car and actually cut into the metal to make it custom am I making sense?

Herefish Colophon