Often when you’re working on a project, you will find that some problems need to be solved via technology/digital solutions, via its Streaming data from your local server onto Cloud, to automatically sending mass emails to your customers. You will face a problem: Should you build your own custom tool? Or should you buy a commercial tool already available in the market?
Much like the discussion of Cloud or On-premise computing, there are some pros and cons for the argument of should you build your own tool or buy an already-made one.
The Build Argument
Some advantages of building your own tool/software are that you will have the full control and customization to tailor the product to your own needs and requirements. Some of the problems your company face may be unique to you and you alone, so no already-made tools would entirely solve your problem.
Stand-out from your market with custom software, differentiate from those that use common market tools is also a big bonus of building your own software. The customer will feel that your company has more ability, and have a stronger reputation in their eyes.
For the disadvantage, the time and resources to build a custom software/tool is a big investment, let alone you will need an experienced team of technicians to build and maintain. If your company is big with a large team of experts to help you build your own software, then this is the solution for you. However, for smaller and medium company, whose limited resources are not equipped, then building a custom solution will be a big challenge.
Figure 1. Risks of Building Solutions Internally
The Buy Argument
With buying an already-made tool, the main advantage is the convenience of just using the tool to solve your problem instead of wasting time building your own solution. Nowadays, some service/software providers also allow for free trials and other free plans, so that you have more options and opportunities to try out and compare each tool to see if it’s suitable to your needs.
Another big advantage is that your service/software provider will be the one responsible to maintain the tool, you don’t need to do anything on your side except deploying the tool, adding more to the convenience above.
However, with the nature of already-made tools, they are much more simple to be able to suit many customers. So the tools in the market may not be entirely suitable for your problems. Moreover, you will have to rely on the third-party company if you want to make changes or add in more modules, which in turn means more cost for your operation.
Figure 2. Risks of Buying Software Externally
The perfect solution to this problem is to buy a custom-built software from a third party or use already-made tools to build your own custom software.
Most software providers do have the custom plan where you can discuss your problem with them, and they will be able to custom their software to tailor it to your needs. This creates a closer relationship between you and your vendor, leaving with more opportunities and benefits for your company.
If your companies are more technology inclined, then Cloud platforms, such as Google, Amazon, Microsoft, etc; have a wide range of products you can use to make your own custom software. From virtual engines to database storage to visualization tools, these platforms have all the ingredients needed for you to build your own custom software.
The main focus of this argument is to weigh the pros and cons of Build vs. Buy vs. Hybrid, so you can choose the best solution to your project.
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Created in 2017, DRIVE is a digital performance company providing clients with a data-driven business strategy, powered by skilled talents, reliable data, and scalable technology system. Certified on major analytics and conversion solutions such as Google Analytics, Salesforce, Tableau and Adobe Analytics, we combine our expertise to meet your business expectations.