Today, business software is everywhere; from point of sale to inventory tracking, most businesses use some sort of software in the everyday management of their operations. So this poses a crucial question: when should you build your own custom software and when should you buy a pre-built solution?
Here are a few questions you should ask yourself:
Are you capable of building your own software?
Whether this means your team building the software themselves or paying someone to do it externally, capability is a key question. Does your team have the technical experience and qualifications to tackle the project themselves? Will they be able to build it as well as maintain it? Alternatively, do you have the finances to outsource the work to a different company? If you are a new business, it might make sense at the beginning to license existing software, but as you grow you may find more and more that you need something custom to your needs, which is where a company like Arc Technologies comes in.
How much control do you have?
The issue that can often arise when buying pre-built software is the lack of control that you will have over the code. If the code is broken or if there is an error, you will be at the mercy of a development team to make fixes or add new features. These things can take a lot of time to complete and will have to be done on their schedule.
Can you customize it?
When choosing whether to build or buy, the ability to customize can be a huge factor. Every business is different and therefore has different needs. Pre-built software more often than not will only be able to cover a small portion of what you need them to do, leading you to need multiple different software to cover the needs of your business. At times like these, it can make more sense to get custom-built software so you are paying for exactly what you need and nothing extra.
What is the tendency of the company?
At Arc Technologies, our tendency is to build rather than buy software because we like to maintain control of all software that goes in and out of our systems. However, there are times when buying is the option that we choose. For example, platforms such as GSuite are so robust and difficult to replicate that we opt for the more cost-effective solution of buying rather than dedicating our resources to building out those features on our own.
What are the goals of your company?
When you are discussing whether to build or to buy, you should always consider what your company’s goals are. If your long-term goal is to one day have a complete system that can help manage all of the everyday aspects of your business, then building might be the right solution for your business. If your goal is to find a temporary fix to a current problem, then it might make more sense to license a software that will help you do the heavy lifting.
What is the compatibility with other software?
We’ve all faced this problem: you use multiple software and none of them are able to communicate with each other. This can cause divisions in data that take a long time to bring together. If all your data is separate and a staff member has to be assigned to connect the dots to complete weekly financial reports or statements, for instance, time and money is being wasted because your software is not all compatible with each other. At Arc Technologies, we strive to bring in data from any existing software that you use, and even if you would like to use our software to supplement ones that you already have, we offer custom integrations to make sure that all your vital information is stored together in one location.
Every company or business is different and therefore has different needs. For some, licensing an existing software will sufficiently meet their needs. For others with more ambitious goals of full automation, building their own custom software is the answer, whether it is building it in house or outsourcing it to a development team. So next time you are looking into what route will give you the best software solution, ask yourself these questions on whether to build or to buy.