Wednesday 11 February 2015

Buy, Build or Outsource? Custom software solution dilemma

Your system software is as old as Y2K problem and doesn't meet your current needs, or perhaps your management want to convert a manual process into a automated one. Whatever be the case, you are probably trying to decide how to proceed. Whether buy a off-the-shelf product or build the software in-house or outsource it to technical consultant vendor. While there are advantages and disadvantages on any of these methods, its vital to understand that the decisionshould depend on many factors than a simple exercise on cost comparison.

Consider off-the-shelf software only when:

1. Many viable products are available 
2. Your business process is generic, flexible and doesn't require customization
3. The new software need not interact with your existing software and can function independently
4. Implementation timeline is short &
5. The per license fee is considerably lower than other options.

Recommendation: Buy software when your objectives are clear and the product available are directly addressing your problem at hand ( for example book keeping)

Consider building software only when:

1. Level of customization is high
2. When your in-house staff has the right expertise
3. Ability to make number of changes at any stage is critical
4. When the software in question needs to integrate with elements of existing environment.

Recommendation :  Build software only if your in-house resource is available for longer period of time and have wide array of technical expertise that may be required in achieving the business needs.

Consider outsourcing custom software creation when:

1. The solutions needs specific features and functions
2. Must be deployed as fast as possible
3. Quality control and testing cannot be compromised
4. Single investment for custom software creation and use

Recommendation : Outsourcing with right consultant can help in hassle free creation of custom software. However while outsourcing there are number of guidelines one should consider:

a. Ensure that the vendor knows the wide range of technologies
b. Vendor company is financially stable and have good record of software creation?
c. What is the vendor role in the project ? are they going to be collecting requirements etc
d. Ensure the vendor knows your technology preference
e. Is vendor company a local one ? would they provide adequate importance to your needs?

These are not the entire list but some points to get you started and arrive at an affirmed decision about your next custom software project. Also check out 5 reasons why you shouldn't choose a large consulting firm for IT services. If you have any questions regarding outsourcing your software please don't hesitate to contact us. Thanks for stopping by and have a fantastic day!

Srivatsan Aravamudan
Srivatsan Aravamudan

Public Relations and Social Media Manager

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