Tech Tuesday: Buy Vs Build

Every developer loves to build software.  They will most likely always choose to build something of their own if given the option to refactor an old project or build new from scratch.

Most companies with a software team at their disposal will opt for the team to build a new feature or product without giving it a second thought, as they should since they pay the team for that exact reason.

When you pair an eager developer with a company that wants results, the tendency is for the software team to build and not consider buying.  Majority of the time building your own software is a good decision however it never hurts to do some research on what is available in the market to incorporate into your current solution.

Things to consider when deciding to build vs buy:

  1. How long does it take to build the feature versus how long will it take to integrate into an existing solution?
  2. Does the cost of paying a team of developers to work a specific number of hours outweigh the cost of the product?
  3. Can you customize the product enough to meet your short and long term needs without requiring extensive support from your development team?
  4. Does the product represent your company, or does it facilitate your product?
  5. Will buying a specific piece of software make the developers’ life easier?

From a developer’s perspective, these are some products you should consider purchasing and those you should build in house:

Buy:

  • Enterprise reporting software
  • Payroll software
  • Analytics tools
  • Merchant onboarding software

Build:

  • Customized features for specific clients
  • New products not yet available in market
  • Small subsets of commercial products

The buy versus build discussion is one that should always take place months before development work begins to uncover all options.

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