For organizations considering building or buying software to meet the demands on their business, there are three typical considerations: Risk, Costs and Usability.
|Risk||Like any project, the risks of scope creep, cost overruns, late or missing deliverables, even total project failure, are real considerations for organization attempting to develop a solution in-house.||In buying a solution, the organization can take assurance that the solution they are deploying is completed, tested and ready to go.|
|Cost||In the "Build" scenario, the organization is taking time and resources away from other initiatives to invest them in the development of the software. If the project runs overschedule, the development cost of the product rises in tandem, as well as the costs in lost productivity from other initiatives.||A vendor supplied solution is largely fixed cost, which also allows organizations to better forecast their financials.|
|Usability||The compelling advantage of building a solution, it can not only meet the needs of the organization but also dovetail exactly into its workflow and business processes.||In buying a solution, the organization is forced to either modify their business processes to match the data inputs/outputs and workflow of the new solution, or pay for high-cost customization services.|
Usability may only be one factor in favor of a "Build" scenario, but it carries significant weight, as it affects the long term cost to the organization over time, in the productivity and efficiency of the processes it manages.
The core concern with Usability is how well will the vendor-provided solution integrate with the organizations existing processes and data inputs/outputs, and how much customization services will cost to bring it in-line. Another consideration, if the vendor-solution doesn't fully address the needs of the organization, how will those other needs be met, through other 3rd party solutions or home-grown applications? How well will these other applications integrate with the vendor solution?
Our own product, TrackerSuite.Net, offers organizations leery of building their own application a solution which they can configure down to the field level without touching a line of code, to meet their needs and workflow processes. To see it in action, watch our “Creating a User Experience” Flash presentation.
TrackerSuite.Net also offers a flexible hosting options, including the option for organizations to license TrackerSuite.Net applications and host them internally. Source code is included with licensing, allowing organizations to leverage their own IT resources to customize the pre-built applications, although Automation Centre also offers these services.