What is a Proprietary System?

What Makes a System Proprietary?

  • It may be a system, framework, software solution, physical product.
  • It belongs to a proprietor
  • It may have patent, copyright, formula, brand name, or trademark associated with it.
  • You may be told how to use it but are not told how it works

Reason for Proprietary System

It should be observed that the proprietary approach is a traditional approach. Throughout history, the knowledge of how an enterprise makes its products has usually been guarded as a valuable secret and such legal devices as the patent, trademark, and copyright were invented to protect a company’s intellectual property.

A prime motivation behind development of products using proprietary technology is straightforward – buyers are compelled to use other products marketed by the same company.

Example: Proprietary Software

The following is an excerpt from wisegeek website

A proprietary system is a system which relies upon software and equipment which is licensed from a copyright holder. Some examples include proprietary software, operating systems, and entire computer systems.

The way in which the user utilizes the system is restricted both by the terms of the license and by blocks within the system which are designed to prevent certain activity. In this type of system, a person can have the permission to use it, but not to fully modify or change it.

In the example of an operating system, a company develops an operating system and then compiles it so that the source code of the system can only be read by a computer, not by a person.

When someone wants to install that operating system, it is necessary to pay a licensing fee, which grants the user permission to use the software while the developer retains the copyrights and ownership.

Usually the system has an interface which allows the user to make changes to increase functionality, but the user cannot change the operating system on the level of the source code.

For example, most operating systems allow people to manipulate the visual display to make things larger and smaller, change desktop backgrounds, and change color schemes. However, someone could not enter the source code to do something like shutting off a function or enabling a function. It’s also not possible to directly modify the source code to change the way in which the software functions.

People who use proprietary systems are usually provided with support by the developer or manufacturer. While the system is closed and does not allow direct user modifications, people are allowed to make many types of changes through various system interfaces to meet their needs.

People can also install other systems which can work inside or with the proprietary system to enhance functionality. For example, if an operating system didn’t have a built in clock, the user could download a clock program to display a clock.

Management Consultants

The following is an excerpt from wikipedia website

Management consulting is the practice of helping organizations to improve their performance, operating primarily through the analysis of existing organizational problems and the development of plans for improvement. Organizations may draw upon the services of management consultants for a number of reasons, including gaining external (and presumably objective) advice and access to the consultants’ specialized expertise.

As a result of their exposure to, and relationships with numerous organizations, consulting firms are typically aware of industry “best practices”, although the specific nature of situations under consideration may limit the transferability of such practices from one organization to another.

Consultancies may also provide organizational change management assistance, development of coaching skills, process analysis, technology implementation, strategy development, or operational improvement services. Management consultants often bring their own proprietary methodologies or frameworks to guide the identification of problems and to serve as the basis for recommendations for more effective or efficient ways of performing work tasks.

Article Afterthoughts

Unless it is executive coaching, clients pay management consultants for their proprietary systems or framework rather than for their business advices. Such a system is never a perfect system. The management consultants continue to improve on it once it has been put into use.

 

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