Buy or Build?

Many of our clients share with us that they are overloaded with legacy, custom built applications. The decision to build often seemed to make sense at the time, but it’s been so long since they were built, the system has become bloated with features and deeply ingrained in other systems.  Now, new leadership is left with a complex web of data flow and interoperability with limited subject matter expertise.

I heard one company say recently that their HR and time keeping applications, data warehousing and CRM were all homegrown; virtually everything they had was built decades ago and the plan to modernize would take 5 years.  I had another company tell me that they may never get away from their iSeries based on how buried it had become over decades.

This conversation often leads to admittance that products should never have been custom built or more consideration should have gone into the decision. COTS options have improved, multiplied and become more customize-able, offering more flexibility.

Of course, in certain core areas, custom software can provide a competitive advantage and may be worth diving into:

  • If your business is so specific there is not a good solution out there
  • If you need to scale custom features quickly
  • If it would give you your product at a lower cost
  • If it would create a better quality product that would attract more customers and create a worthy competitive advantage

UDig is currently providing oversight to a Fortune 500 company that is replacing a major business critical application with an Oracle product.  We provide a third party view and protect the customer from decisions that would benefit just the vendor.  We are conducting the design of the integration effort and will be providing leadership to the team that implements.  We work with the business for decision making and strategy, and to help translate requirements and highlight capabilities.

If your organization is struggling to create a strategic plan to integrate COTS and sunset old applications, UDig’s consulting managers can help.  We can do an overview, provide strategy for these decisions or even build an assessment that can be the road map for your plans if you desire.

Build or buy isn’t always an obvious decision and we would love to help carve out the right answer for you.