Build or Buy? What's the best choice for your organization (and customers)?
So, you want an online marketplace. And, you've got a team that can ostensibly build it in-house. The question is, should you? (Spoiler: We don't think so.)
Deciding whether to build or buy isn't an easy decision and investing in the right solution will help your organization avoid common (and often crippling) pitfalls. To help accelerate your decision-making process, we've outlined the Top 7 key factors to consider:
Total lower cost
Building your own software is a serious investment. When you consider all of the associated costs and the time required, a purchased solution will always be less expensive. After factoring in the cost of the initial build, support, bug fixes, upgrades, and keeping up with market trends, one in six IT projects have an average cost overrun of 200%. Why? What was intended to be a quick build often turns out to be a different, larger, and more time-consuming endeavor than initially expected. And, it's not just the initial investment - it's estimated that 70% of software costs occur after implementation.
While a purchased solution seems expensive in the beginning, the predictability of the platform and the ability to rely on it while setting long-term business goals is invaluable. It's a known expense for a product that will be ready to use quickly, without any surprises. For many organizations, the fixed cost transparency vastly outweighs the benefits of building a custom-but-unpredictable software solution in-house. Additional costs in the form of hosting can also roll up, making the year-to-year maintenance costs of the system larger than anticipated.
Capacity & resources
With purchased software, there's no need for dedicated team members to maintain your in-house solution and adjust it as things change. The right out-of-the-box solution can quickly scale to accommodate changes or new products without burdening your resources. Essentially, the buy option means you have no resource barriers to developing a robust, scalable and optimized platform. Buying the right solution means that a team of experts is doing the work you need while allowing your own team to focus on what really matters to your core business.
Customizability & control
One of the perceived benefits to building software in-house is the ability to customize it very specifically for the unique needs of your organization. But the right platform will have powerful functionality and the flexibility to be customized to your requirements. Arcadier's mantra is flexibility is power , and its API-based approach not only offers unlimited adaptability, but also a feature-set that evolves as features are continually added. As we improve, you'll improve... without additional investment.
Maintenance & support
Unlike a solution you build in-house, Arcadier offers extensive developer resources and support, regular software maintenance, and even post-launch support. In other words, you're not in this alone. Your team will not only have access to our support team but also our accredited Expert Partner Rangle that will work closely with you all through your project progression. It's easy to underestimate the time and money your organization will spend in scheduling and performing maintenance on a custom build, or trouble-shooting challenges if they arise. With our platform, we handle all the risks associated with downtime.
Quality of customer experience
Customer experience expectations are the highest they've ever been. Yet, a great experience is harder than ever to create and very complex to execute. High quality experiences take time and organizational energy to define, measure, analyze, and improve. So, how can you minimize risk in achieving this goal? Arcadier and Rangle have teams of customer experience specialists. This expertise is baked into the platform and its implementation. In buying a powerful headless platform, the investments you make in the customer experience can be scaled and integrated with relative ease and minimal disruption, ensuring that your investment will pay off for the long term as business and operating needs evolve.
Sometimes, buying is simply the best choice. Arcadier has invested half a million hours over the last decade in its platform... so you don't have to.
In Ask Your Developer, Jeff Lawson, CEO of Twilio wrote, "You can't buy differentiation. You can only build it." Yet, this does not mean reinventing everything with a custom build. It's more about smart choices; knowing when to stand on the shoulders of giants and buy "effectiveness" and when to invest wisely in building the parts of your project that can make the greatest difference. When you get this right on behalf of your customers, they'll thank you with increased loyalty and revenue.
About the Author:
Moxie Garrett http://linkedin.com/in/moxiegarrett
Moxie is currently Principal, Digital Strategy at Rangle an Arcadier Systems Integration Partner that works across many large technology projects to unite Technology, Operations, Business and Customer Experience to solve challenging problems.
Gallup Business Journal - The Cost of Bad Project Management by Benoit Hardy-Vallee, former Gallup consultant, Feb 7 2012 https://news.gallup.com/businessjournal/152429/cost-bad-project-management.aspx
CloudSense - Build vs Buy software - what's best for your business? - December 7, 2020 https://blog.cloudsense.com/build-vs-buy-software
Ask Your Developer: How to Harness the Power of Software Developers and Win in the 21st Century by Jeff Lawson, published 2021 by Harper Business