Organizations that develop software solutions are often classified according to the targeted consumers: business shops whose solutions support the business (e.g., internal consumption) and software shops whose solutions are sold (more correctly licensed) to customers (e.g., external consumption). This classification is not closed — i.e., what is a consulting firm hired to develop internal applications or a business shop whose internal application is sold – but I’m comfortable sticking with a business shop and software shop.

Software companies generate revenue by selling/licensing their solutions, along with other supporting services. Historically, the customer is responsible for installing the purchased/licensed software within their corporate infrastructure: acquiring/installing the requisite infrastructure (i.e., servers, storage, networking, security), provisioning supporting tools (i.e., messaging solutions, database schemas, disk storage, security groups), and, finally, installing the application. The software company may provide consulting time for more complex solutions, but ultimately a successful deployment is in the customer’s hands.

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