In this article, we leave you with the pros and cons of, either buying a software product or hiring a customized development, and in which cases one or the other may be more interesting for your company.
On many occasions, companies find themselves in the position of having to choose between acquiring a software product or contracting a customized development. And the question is the same as always, which is the best option?
- Quick configuration, implementation and use. As it is an existing and functional product, with a simple configuration it can be implemented and used.
- Upgrades over time. They are usually solutions that offer updates and new functionalities over time (which is a double-edged sword as we will see in the disadvantages).
- Lower implementation cost. In general, it is usually cheaper to acquire a product than to carry out an exclusive customized development. Although the company should bear in mind that for each of the products acquired, the annual licensing cost can be a substantial expense.
- Difficult to fully adapt to the company. The product usually has parameterizable values within previously defined options, so it is difficult to adapt it completely to the company and its peculiarities.
- Little control over the tool and dependence on support. As it is not a proprietary product, you do not have the option of making any changes you want to the tool. Furthermore, in the event of an incident, you must communicate it to the vendor and wait for them to solve it, which can lead to long interruptions in its use.
- Dependence on updates and changes. For example, when the vendor makes updates or changes to the product, the only option is to comply with them, even if the previous configuration was better for your company, or the functionality that has been removed was very useful for your daily operations.
- Exclusive development adapted to the company. As it is a customised development designed exclusively for your company, it considers all the peculiarities and adapts perfectly to your needs.
- Control over the tool and integration. As it is an in-house development, the company has full control over the tool, being able to modify it and always adapt it to its needs. Any change can be made, or integrations can be made with other platforms or internal or external systems.
- Proven ROI in the short term, scalability, and agile changes. Gone are the days of those mega-projects that took years to develop and implement and never came to fruition. This type of development is currently made up of small projects or milestones that are uploaded to production so that the ROI of the tool can be checked in the short term. They are easily scalable and normally provide great agility when implementing changes in the tool, without having to depend on external companies.
- Greater efficiency and better results. Customized developments ultimately yield better results as they are totally flexible and adaptable to changes in the future. They can also be optimized, simulated, automated, or monitored in real-time to greatly improve productivity.
- Longer development and implementation time. The development and implementation times of the tool vary greatly depending on the project and the methodology, in fact, some are quite short, but in general, they are longer than those of a final product.
- Need of good professionals. If a customized development is not carried out by the right people, it can fall into errors. That is why it is necessary to have great professionals trained and experienced in the development and implementation of this type of solution.
- Higher cost. The price of an exclusive customized development is obviously usually higher than the price of contracting a product.
So which option should I choose?
It is better to choose to purchase a product if:
- Your processes are standard and other companies are likely to work in a similar way.
- You do not have a clear notion of the processes to be implemented.
- The processes to be implemented are not the core of your business, nor your differentiating factor.
- You do not have sufficient means to devote some effort to a software project.
Developing custom software is the best option for you if:
- You are a company that provides a differential service and there are not many companies that provide the same service.
- Although you provide standard service, you have internal processes that are very different from those of your sector.
- You have very clear processes to implement and the success of your business depends largely on them.
- To cover all your needs you have to buy several different products. In this case users must jump through different applications on the same day, which has a negative impact on their productivity.
- You foresee a major evolution in your business that will require system scalability and agile changes to adapt to new needs.