If you’ve read Part 1 of this build vs. buy blog series and followed the needs assessment process I’ve recommended, it’s time to make your decision: do you build your next enterprise solution in-house or buy the software to address your needs?
The technical challenges your organization faces, whether it is struggling with logistics planning, organizing data, or managing enterprise-level processes – are likely varied – but not necessarily unique. When it comes to the challenge of managing and integrating your data, I have found that the best decision is clear and consistent: buy.
Sure, I work for a software vendor, so you might think it’s my job to tell you that.
My experience on the frontlines with data users and customers has taught me a lot. I have seen that that determining whether to build or buy enterprise software requires a deep dive into understanding the resources, requirements, and processes that your organization relies on. And once that soul searching is complete, buying a software solution almost always has consistent and undeniable benefits that outpace an internal build and offer a more efficient means to address your data challenges.
So when all is said and done, here are four reasons why I think you’ll end up choosing the option to “buy” your next data management software solution:
1. It’s easier to stay on top
Your organization’s needs will never be static, and you’ll want a solution that can seamlessly keep up with your changing needs and advances in technology. Build a solution internally and you’ll have to rely on your engineering team to continuously keep your tool updated. Buy a solution and you’ll find that software offerings, like Minitab Connect for example, are regularly updated and improved as technology and user needs progress. Buying a solution also includes the added benefit of training so that you can fully understand and take advantage of the technology to apply to your organization’s needs. Plus expert support and flexible platforms that generally accompany these software solutions ensure it’s always an option to quickly make and recommend changes to deliver exactly what you need.
2. Spare your staff
You can’t underestimate the energy and time-zapping process of developing, and more significantly, maintaining and troubleshooting a homegrown tool that meets all of your requirements. Unless your company’s core business is software development, your IT staff won’t be able to operate in a way that can properly support your system’s development and upkeep, nor were they hired to do so. Buying a solution will result in infinitely more time and bandwidth among internal teams, so they can focus on keeping critical business functions running smoothly, rather than on software upkeep and management.
3. The vendor relationship isn’t complicated
Compared to working with your internal engineering department to build software from scratch, buying a tool puts some helpful distance between you and the team providing the solution. This simplified relationship, where no other tasks overlap and fewer personal and political connections exist, can make for an environment where it is easier to be upfront about your needs and hold your technology provider accountable. Put bluntly, it’s a little easier to hire (or fire) and manage someone who isn’t your colleague or part of your organizational network, ensuring a more streamlined and efficient approach to resolving your technical challenges. Be assured, when you are the client and write the checks, resolutions to your grievances and challenges will be swift.
4. You will benefit from experience
As I have mentioned, you might avoid buying a software solution because you think your data issues are too unique or will require too much customization for out-of-the-box software to handle well. When you consider the myriad of potential data challenges, it is highly likely that software providers have developed a solution. Minitab Connect is highly tuned to address repeatable scenarios from the many data challenges we resolve, so organizations facing similar challenges can take advantage of the software’s experience with solving the same issues.
THE BETTER BUSINESS DECISION
So there you have it. When you consider the value, resource savings and more, buying is almost always a better business decision! Certainly, as Part 1 shares, either option will still require deep introspection into your organization as you determine your requirements. But, in the end, I think you’ll find the advantages of buying will fulfill your data management requirements, won’t deplete your resources, and will offer enterprise-level solutions that the entire organization benefits from.
… And in the off chance you do choose to build, look out for Part 3 of our series that will outline how you can buy your way out if you get in trouble with a homegrown build.
Ready to learn more?