Build vs Buy software decisions in the world of Digital Transformation

Oct 22, 2021

Are you considering a build-vs-buy decision for your SaaS software platform needs? If the answer is YES, we would like to offer simple four key factors to make your decision easier. Read on!

Factor One: Control!

Control has always been a top factor in making a build-vs-buy decision. Whereas buying software or SaaS platforms is considered a less expensive route, it limits an organization from adding to its product roadmap. You can give feedback, but it’s not guaranteed to provide you with the desired features to give your solution the best coverage. Furthermore, your strategic planning process and business needs are now dependent on someone else’s interpretation of your actual objectives as an Enterprise.

With control, however, comes a great deal of in-house responsibility and accountability. If you are a technology organization, you now have to be responsible for the risks associated with your software, in case you don’t have enough staff or skills to manage your project, and ultimately your final product. You now make ALL the decisions for upgrades, versions, support, and use cases which hopefully were selected correctly.

Note: Eccentex AppBase platform gives you additional control of your ‘build’ process by providing both citizen-development and professional-development control of your own business rules, workflows, and use cases.

Factor Two: Cost!

The SaaS platform that you will purchase is responsible for almost all, if not entirely all, upfront costs associated with building, maintaining, versioning, and supporting the platform, while charging you a subscription fee or a one-time license fee for the usage. The SaaS vendor gains efficiencies and scale across a growing customer base, and they can often charge a lower amount than you would invest in supporting an in-house application.

Suppose you decide to build software in-house. In that case, you will have to worry about development costs, the development team costs (those pesky developers), ongoing support, bug fixes, upgrades, platform migrations, functionality matching to your business requirements, connectivity, integration with other platforms, and keeping up with industry and technology trends. These costs can add up to millions for a mid-size to a large organization.

Note: AppBase has been notorious for saving money, and people costs through visual workflows and low-code implementation.

Factor Three: Maintenance and Support!

Vendors, similar to Eccentex, handle all the maintenance behind the scenes and build the maintenance cost into your subscription fee. For an additional professional fee, vendor staff can help launch the platform at your organization, customize it, manage the entire process in the future, update you on new features, and push out product upgrades.

Most importantly, they can share the best practices since they’ve done it so many times and have probably captured them in their shareable practice.

In the case of “build,” you own all maintenance related to your built custom software. That means launching it, resolving bugs, training users, maintaining security and compatibility, minding industry standards, and worrying about new functionality and competitive advantage. And all that maintenance depends heavily on increased bandwidth or dedicated extra staff.

Note: AppBase from Eccentex allows you to control maintenance costs by designing your workflows and processes your way while visualizing the outcome.

Factor Four: Technical Debt!

Technical Debt is an important consideration and factor. A common term in software development is a “liability” arising from poorly developed software, fixes, or integration. However, Technical Debt can happen intentionally when a quick fix is not ideal but needed to fix a problem with limited budget and time. Technical Debt can also be a result of poor architectural decisions and poor planning.

A technical deficiency – another term we can introduce here – is the lack of necessary human resources, skills, and budget to complete a project successfully. When Technical Debt becomes a technical deficiency, the build quality can suffer, leading to an economic loss and missed future opportunities.

Note: AppBase solution helps minimize Technical Debt by visualizing workflows, integrations, and dependencies, thus curtailing poor coding decisions and assisting the business units in reducing their reliance on development teams as companies pursue digital transformation options and enhance their product roadmaps.

The above is the short and partial list of primary considerations you have to consider when launching new products or supporting the existing ones. In the world of automation and digital transformation, your Enterprise will benefit from faster and more intelligent decision-making, giving you new opportunities, a competitive advantage, and excellent options in selecting the right platform for your software needs.

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