The "build vs. buy" question is one that is challenging for many organizations, especially those who do not consider themselves software development firms. Given the increasing reliance of all businesses on being “smarter” and more efficient than its competitors, pretty much all companies today need to consider that there may be times where “building” something that provides a unique competitive advantage is better than “buying” something that lots of companies, competitors included, are using.
For those considering building vs buying new software, Sydcon has generated 5 helpful questions to ask when comparing Packaged and Custom Software:
- Can You Integrate It With Outside Sources?
- Do You Have Unique or Custom Business Needs?
- What Is the Problem You're Trying to Solve?
- Are You Going to Use All the Features?
- Will It Scale the Way You Need It To?
For those struggling with an existing “Off-The-Shelf” (OTS) software package, QAT Global has developed a list of 10 signs that OTS software is hurting your business:
- You have adjusted your workflow and processes to match the OTS software.
- Automatic software updates have interrupted your business.
- Your technology decisions are dictated by your OTS software.
- Your OTS software has features you do not need or want.
- You have developed “workarounds” to overcome limitations or faults with your OTS software.
- You are using documents and spreadsheets to maintain business information.
- You are routinely inputting the same data into two or more programs.
- You are forced to pay for regular upgrades or risk having to buy a whole new version with no upgrade path.
- You cannot integrate your system(s) with others you have or those of vendors or customers.
- You have a lot of manual processes that your competitors have automated.
Ultimately, the best question to ask when comparing custom and packaged software is: Which will serve your long-term goals the best? Making the decision isn't about just what's right for your situation now but also whether it can grow and scale with your organization.