The decision to build or buy software has been around for eons. Should you licence a commercial product that may not meet all your requirements? Or risk building your own bespoke system for a potentially greater reward? In this article, FLOvate offers a fresh perspective on the build or buy software debate.

Build Or Buy Software: The Case To BUY

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When deciding to build or buy software, it’s easy to see the benefits of buying off the shelf. Most of the hard work is done already, and the system is ready to use. Moreover, packaged solutions are often the cheapest. Importantly for first-time buyers, off-the-shelf solutions usually come with good support, both through the vendor channels and the software community.

However, much like off the rack clothing, these systems are not built to fit the majority of use cases. In the best case scenario, it might fit your process for 90% of the way.  In the not-so-great cases, you might be looking at a 50-75% fit. As a result, you may be forced to choose something that doesn’t omit an important aspect, rather than one that includes all the features you need. This could also mean that you are paying over the odds for features you don’t need.

Another issue with an off the shelf solution is that it might start out meeting 90% of your requirements, but as your business changes and develops, this percentage starts to drop. Consequently, your system is no longer fit for purpose, and you are back to square one.

Build Or Buy Software: The Case To BUILD

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Build or buy software decisions often come down to budget. If you have the money and/or resource to write your own system, then bespoke may see the obvious route forward. On the plus side, you can tailor the system to work exactly as you need it. You can decide which features you need, and get them working within the same environment in which the software will be deployed.

On the other hand, bespoke builds have their drawbacks. One of these is time. Even if the business is enthusiastic about the project, the discovery and analysis stages must be planned properly. Capturing information from all the relevant process owners can suck up valuable internal resource. But perhaps the biggest disadvantage of bespoke in the build or buy debate is flexibility – or lack of it. Bespoke systems are notoriously costly to update, whether that’s through lack of time, available skill, knowledge or resources.

A bespoke system is also the most expensive, whether you hire someone internally or use an outside resource. As a result, a bespoke system is simply not a realistic option for smaller organisations.

Build Or Buy Software: Another Way?

Increasingly, organisations are turning to low-code platforms to solve the build or buy software debate. These platforms offer building blocks of pre-written code that hook into your processes, allowing you to create a robust process management system. Each block is configurable, giving you the flexibility to adapt and evolve your software as your business changes. As a result, you can deploy processes quickly and update them easily.

Because there are numerous functions and links, you can achieve virtually any process or outcome. And as it’s quick to deploy, you can start by automating a single process, then roll out quickly to increase the return on investment. Low-code platforms either come as approximately 80% packaged solutions, with the main features already configured, or as blank canvases ready to be built upon.

Discover LEAP From FLOvate

LEAP Low Code Software makes it easy to automate your processes without writing a line of code. To book a demonstration or talk through your needs, get in touch.