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Answering the Big Question: to Buy or to Build?

In today’s advanced world, business practices are almost synonymous with technology. As your business grows, processes become more complicated and the unwelcome reality hits: you’ve outgrown excel spreadsheets and manual processes. In this case, recognizing there is a need is only the first step in complicated decision making processes. You find yourself asking the question: how do I make improvements without derailing its success completely? This decision usually boils down to either purchasing an out-of-the-box solution or building your own custom software. Whatever path you choose, however, will bring its own set of unique challenges and benefits – and unfortunately there is no one size fits all answer for everyone. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of things to take into consideration when forging your own path to make things a little easier:

  • Can your needs be met with an existing out-of-the-box-solution or would you require a lot of customization?
  • Would the level of customization be so cost prohibitive that your resources would be better allocated to building a homegrown solution?
  • Do you have the resources to develop your own software?
  • Do you have the resources to continually maintain and update the solution to evolve with your business needs?
  • Is it worth your time to focus on solving a problem that another company has already adequately solved or would your time be better suited elsewhere?

Oftentimes, the most cost effective solution is picking a program designed by experts in their field, like ITB software, GradeBeam, so you can focus on being the expert in your own field. The key to making the right decision is examining all the pieces and doing your own comprehensive cost-benefit analysis. In some cases, your needs will be so unique that existing solutions won’t be able to keep up. However, most of you will be asking yourselves: should we re-invent the wheel, or should we free up to those resources to focus on doing what we do best?


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