As the owner and account manager at a medical software company specializing in physician
After researching this topic, the consensus appears to be: Buy when you need to automate commodity business processes or to standardize; build when you’re dealing with core processes that differentiate your company or to compete. “Everyone knows that the more standardized you are and the more you buy off-the-shelf, the more cost-effective it will be for both implementation and ongoing maintenance,” says Mark Lutchen of PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Eight Things to Consider When Making Your Decision
1. Upfront Scope and Requirements CostsWhat do you want the software to do and how will it look and function. What are your expectations?
2. Upfront Development Cost
You will most likely need project manager(s), lead architects, coders, and testers. Also, don’t forget the technology required to develop and test.
3. Upfront Time
Scope and requirements can take 2-3 months full time on a project that is medium in complexity. Development can take 6-9 months and
testing another 2-3 month.
4. Plan Ahead
Plan for the “Oh, that’s what you meant” ... most projects have some amount of re-work required to move forward. This is usually greater if you decide to “off-shore” your project.
5. Ongoing Maintenance
Software becomes outdated the moment it is released, that’s why there are patches and updates. Not to mention that every time you update or patch something, chances are that you will break something else.
6. Software Maturity
This is the point when you have an ultra-stable system that is virtually bug-free. This is a moving target.
What happened when your coder or project manager gets a better job offer or you have budget cuts and have to eliminate a key position?
8. Intellectual Property Rights
Don’t forget about the IP that will go into this project during the development. Although most companies have policies that state anything that is developed on company time is property of the company, that does not preclude your employees from developing “similar software” for another industry or building on a concept that was scrapped at work. The hardest part in this scenario is finding out that someone has a covert project going on at home.
Consider Your Goals
I think a good argument can be made depending on your goals and objectives. As an example, we have developed custom on-call doctor scheduling software to sell to hospitals and clinics. We truly feel this is core to our business. But on the flip
side we have purchased via SaaS model both CRM and Accounting software where better mousetraps had already been built.
The key takeaway is to know what you’re getting yourself into and why are you deciding to build vs. buy software. For
all you need to know about call scheduling software, request a consultation with us. It would be an honor to work with you and your administration.