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Solving the “build vs. buy” debate

Save MoneyIt’s a common question, one that undoubtedly emerges with most large software purchases: Should we build or buy? Do we build our own solution from scratch or purchase a pre-built, off-the-shelf solution?

On one hand, building a custom solution is ideal. You’re left with software built specifically for your company, built to handle those small details unique to your business. That sounds great, but…there’s a problem: It’s expensive and time consuming. Building a custom solution from the ground up can take a year or two, depending on complexity. Oftentimes, it requires bringing in outside consultants, which only adds to the cost.

On the other hand, buying a pre-built solution is a great option. It’s usually cheaper than the custom option and lets you get up and running sooner–probably in a few months. The only problem: It’s not built for your business. Every now and again, you’ll run across something that just doesn’t work, or some feature that it just doesn’t have.

The choice essentially boils down to this: Do you need a solution quickly or do you need a solution that perfectly fits your needs? Here’s a better question: What if you could do both? That’s what this company did. They built a custom software solution, only faster and cheaper than it would’ve taken to buy and deploy a pre-built option. Impossible? Read the whole story and see how they did it.

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  1. Pingback: Weekly recap: 2012 IT salary survey, 6 things you should stop doing, and more… | mrc's Cup of Joe Blog

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