Should You Build Or Buy Software?

When looking for a new piece of software should you build or buy?

As a small business there are many choices to make.

You rely on experts to help you make the right decision.

But what if the vendor is recommending the wrong thing?

How do you know?

I just finished a phone call with a developer who wanted to give me their 2 cents... Make that 50 cents on build versus buy.

I’ve been working with a client and we’ve decided to move off of a custom made application to a commercial one.

To appease the losing vendor the client asked that I take a call with their vendor to hear him out.

Mind you we’d already done our research, done a proof of concept and vetted out the new app.

And it was hands down way better than the open source app they’re currently running on.

Still I needed to talk to the existing vendor one more time.

I behaved myself as Mr. Developer pontificated on the values of open source software and why he was right.

He went on to tell me that we were making a huge mistake by moving away from an open source platform.

That we didn’t value the flexibility of open source.

Sometimes it’s better to not argue and just go with it.

This was one of those times.

If your business is looking for a software solution there’s a very good chance it’s already out there as a commercially available app.

No development required.

There are many vendors out there who will sell you their solution.

But it will be based on some open source project and they’re just tweaking it for you.

Very likely the offering won’t be managed well.

As a matter of fact, more often than not it won’t be managed well.

There will be a lot of patch work that you likely won’t see as the client.

You’ll just wonder why you have problems.

Why things don’t work like there supposed to.

And you’ll just struggle along.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

Find solutions that make sense for your business.

That are backed and supported by skilled teams of developers and product managers.

Not to take anything away from the vendor selling his open source solution.

But at the end of the day.

You have a business to run.

You’re trying to make money.

You don’t need any more hurdles then you already have.

Default to Buy. Build if you must.