In today's digital-driven world, software is essential for businesses of all sizes. Whether you need a CRM system to manage your sales leads, accounting software to track your finances, or a marketing automation platform to reach your target audience, a software solution can help you achieve your business goals. But with so many software options available, how do you know whether to build or buy your next software solution?
This blog post will explore the pros and cons of building and buying software and help you make the best decision for your business.
Is it Better to Buy Software or Build Your Own?
There are many factors to consider when deciding whether to build or buy software. Some of the most important factors include:
- Your budget: Building software can be expensive, especially if you need a custom solution. However, purchasing software can be more affordable, especially if you can find an off-the-shelf solution that meets your needs.
- Your timeline: Building software can take time, especially if you need a custom solution. Buying software, on the other hand, can be implemented more quickly.
- Your expertise: Building software requires specialized skills and knowledge. If you need in-house expertise to build software, you must hire a third-party developer, which can add to the project's cost. Buying software, on the other hand, does not require any specialized skills or knowledge.
- Your needs: If you have particular needs that an off-the-shelf solution cannot meet, you must build your software. However, buying software may be the better option if you can find an off-the-shelf solution that meets most of your needs.
Is it More Cost-Effective to Build or Buy?
The cost of building or buying software can vary depending on several factors, including the complexity of the software, the size of your business, and the vendor you choose. Buying software is generally less expensive than building your software because off-the-shelf software is developed and maintained by a third-party vendor, which spreads the cost of development across multiple customers.
However, there are some cases where building your software can be more cost-effective. For example, producing your software may be the only option if you have particular needs that an off-the-shelf solution cannot meet. Additionally, you can save money on development costs if you have the in-house expertise to build software.
Why Would a Company Decide to Buy Software Instead of Developing IT Themselves?
There are many reasons why a company might decide to buy software instead of developing it themselves. Some of the most common causes include:
- Cost: As mentioned above, buying software is typically less expensive than building your software.
- Time: Building software can take time, especially if you need a custom solution. Purchasing software, on the other hand, can be implemented more quickly.
- Risk: Building software can be risky, with the potential for delays, budget overruns, and even failure to deliver the desired results. Buying software, on the other hand, significantly reduces these risks.
When are You Making a Build vs. Buy Decision?
When a company identifies a need best met through a software solution, they decide to build or buy the software. The decision-making process should involve a thorough analysis of the company's requirements, resources, budget, and timeline.
Here are some questions to consider when making a build vs. buy decision:
- Does an off-the-shelf solution exist that meets your needs?
- Do you have the resources and skills to build your solution?
- Can you afford the time it takes to build custom software?
- What are the long-term implications of making versus buying in terms of costs, adaptability, and scalability?
Once you have answered these questions, you can start to weigh the pros and cons of each option. Here is a summary of some of the key pros and cons of building and buying software:
- You can get exactly what you need
- You have more control over the development process
- You can build software that is tailored to your specific business needs
- It can be expensive
- It can take a long time.
- You may not have the in-house expertise to build software
- It can be less expensive
- It can be implemented more quickly
- You don't need to have in-house expertise to use it
- You may not get exactly what you need
- You have less control over the development process
- You may be locked into a vendor
The decision to build or buy software is complex, and both routes come with their own set of advantages and challenges. It is crucial to weigh these factors and consider your organization's unique needs and capabilities before deciding. Whether you build or buy, the ultimate goal should be finding a solution that supports your business objectives, contributes to growth, and offers the best return on investment.
If you’re building, we have the expertise to help. At Airship, we’re not just building software. We are constructing bridges to possibilities, avenues for growth, and platforms of success for our clients. Our expertise is a major asset in creating top-notch software and we help minimize risk and potential pitfalls through the Airship Lifecycle Proces.
Contact us today to learn more about our bespoke software development services.