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Application Templates: Faster, Better, and Cheaper Systems

An organization's ability to develop and change its information systems quickly and often is increasingly important. The two primary approaches to systems development have been build or buy. The authors' research suggests that a third alternative can enable organizations to both develop and change systems faster -- a "template" approach. Templates are existing systems, built with the aid of computer-aided software engineering (CASE) tools, that are changed at the design level and thereby customized for a new organization's use. The authors discuss the use of the template approach at three companies, as well as the rapidly growing template marketplace. All three organizations cited significant reductions in the time and cost of delivering their systems, as well as improvements in IS-business relationships and the ability to learn new business methods and technologies.

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