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To build or not to build, that is the question!

The decision to 'build vs buy software' we feel is not a very simple question to answer anymore. ​

Businesses now have to have such a wide range of channels to find and then satisfy their customers needs ranging from an ecommerce site, physical shops, online marketplaces, marketing channels, social media, catalogues, mail shots etc.

There is great software available to manage all these separate channels. They are quite cheap and they do their own individual tasks really well. The problem is that each piece of software is remote, they are not connected to each other.

What we propose is linking all these together so that they do work as a whole, sharing information and allowing for the whole business process to be automated and it is full automation that we feel is the ultimate goal and should be at the end of a businesses IT strategy.

The benefits for each business are proving to be immense and they are realising the incredible improvements that integrated systems can offer.

 

 

We are a development company that specialise in building bespoke software systems and to help you decide which is the better option for you we have detailed out the pros and cons of both. ​Hopefully it will help you to decide which is the best way forward for your business.

 

If you have any questions please get in touch. It is a very important decision to get right and we are more than happy to share our expertise and knowledge in this area.

The Case for Custom Software:

 

The Pros – Scalability, Competitive Edge, Faster Growth.

The Cons – Expense, Time to Build.

 

The Case for Off-the-Shelf Software:

 

The Pros – Lower Upfront Cost, Faster Implementation.

The Cons – Limited Functionality, Incompatibility & Connectivity Issues.

The Case for Custom Software

The Pros

Scalability

If you have big growth plans for your business, a custom software solution is likely the way to go. That’s because custom software can be modified much more quickly and easily so that it expands, grows, and changes with your business. So even if you find an existing pre-built piece of software that meets most of your technology needs today, the chances of it still doing an adequate job as your business grows and evolves will rapidly diminish.

You will then be faced with having to move to a better solution later on down the road. Switching to an entirely new system can be far more cumbersome, time-consuming, and disruptive to your business flow than the small, frequent, and incremental upgrades that are typically made to customized software.

Competitive Edge

In today’s world, cutting edge technology is shaping just about every industry. If you choose an off-the-shelf software solution, you take the risk of starting your business off with outdated technology and missing out on opportunities to get ahead of the game in your industry. With a custom software solution, you can gain the competitive advantage by leveraging the most efficient, connected, and scalable technology.

Developing smart product technology and leveraging IoT-based solutions in the right context can do wonders for making your business more productive and more enticing to your new and existing customers. Essentially, custom software can help you really stand out against your competitors.

Faster Growth

With the capability, scalability, and customization of proprietary software solutions come the added benefit of faster and better results. When business software is tailored to include all the functionality you need in the ways you need it the most, your business can run like a well-oiled machine. Software that is customized to your workflow and optimized for today’s connected world can push production and profitability through the roof, and lead to exponentially faster business growth.

The Cons

Expense

Custom software typically costs more upfront than pre-built software, which, depending on the size and profitability of your business, can be a deal-breaker. You’ll want to ensure that the revenue your business generates can comfortably cover the costs of building, maintaining and upgrading custom software.

Keep in mind, however, the common misconception that a pre-built software solution will always be the most financially sound one. Over time, the use of pre-built software can create a loss of revenue that far exceeds the additional cost of maintaining custom software. This is because pre-built software often sucks valuable time and resources from your business as your employees do their best to compensate for not having all the features they need to run optimally.

Time to build

With the right software development process, you can get usable chunks of software in a timely manner. But launching a fully-loaded custom software solution takes time, which you may or may not have enough of.

The Case for Off-the-Shelf Software

The Pros

Lower Upfront Cost

If cost is a major concern and you have limited resources to launch, pre-built software may be your best solution since it is typically cheaper to buy and implement. Just keep in mind the potential long-term financial drawbacks we mentioned earlier. You may want to switch over to a custom software solution once that option becomes more viable for you.

Faster Implementation

Since it doesn’t need to be built, off-the-shelf software can get up and running faster. However, allow us to dispel the common myth that launching pre-built business software doesn’t require extensive IT involvement. Despite the convenience that is implied with the term “off-the-shelf,” these are not typically plug-and-go types of solutions. Smooth and successful implementation of pre-built software often takes time and technical expertise.

The Cons

Limited Functionality

Pre-built software is pretty rigid in its functionality and capabilities. There isn’t much wiggle room for customizing it to meet your unique requirements or for optimizing it to accommodate the growing and ever-changing needs of your business. These constraints can stifle productivity, innovation, value, and growth. It can also put you at a competitive disadvantage. Your canned software won’t stand a chance at outperforming the competition if your rivals are using custom-tailored solutions.

Incompatibility & Connectivity Issues

Pre-built software may not be compatible with other programs, devices, or products that you are using today, or ones that you may need to implement in the future. Custom software, on the other hand, can be built with compatibility in mind, and can be tweaked later on to connect with more and more devices and other pieces of software that may become necessary for your business to incorporate in the future.

So the build vs. buy software decision ultimately boils down to whether your priorities are to launch fast and cheap, or to invest in your ability to soar to the top, hard and fast.

We can build your dream system

Our very experienced team are happy to answer any questions you have.

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