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Build-or-Buy Software Decision


10 min read

Are you having difficulty deciding the benefit of build vs buy software decision for your business? Before making a decision, consider some critical variables.

The conditions in which companies require software solutions differ based on the sector and the company’s characteristics. In most situations, such businesses consider ready-made solutions first because their installation is significantly faster. When it becomes clear that none of the ready-made items can genuinely address the business issue, it’s time to make the decision to develop your own solution. But first, let’s go into the build-or-buy software debate.

What is Build vs Buy?

When it comes to business software solutions, the two broad options are to build vs buy enterprise software. The term “build” suggests that some customisation from a business is required prior to distribution. A “buy” software package is ready to use right away to tackle a specific business need.

Aspects of Buying Software

To assist you in navigating this often perplexing process, we will list the most significant factors to consider when building your own software or buying it based on your existing company goals and limits.

Deployment Simplicity

An online direction solution is an appealing option for many firms searching for an urgent response to a critical business issue. It does not necessitate the purchase of hardware or the upkeep of IT services. It’s simple to set up and great to use right out of the package.

Customers receive a collection of prebuilt tools that they can begin utilizing immediately to assist in enhancing quality service, HR enrollment, IT service management, project management, and other typical company procedures. You also don’t have to worry about scalability, software upgrades, or security because the service provider handles everything.

If your data management requirements are unchanging and basic, and you don’t mind a one-size-fits-all tactic, this might be the optimal solution for your business.

Lack of a Customized Solution

Target products are designed for the majority; they address potential pitfalls in sectors that are relevant to all enterprises (like CRM or ITSM). So, if you’re looking for custom software that’s beyond the range of usual mainstream operations, for example, a system to more effectively support internal compliance activities, searching for an out-of-the-box option that matches will almost certainly result in dissatisfaction.

To handle this, many businesses that select a stand-alone system approach to issue resolution wind up adopting many technologies from various suppliers. Operating across a landscape of diverse apps and platforms may be a difficult task, and the data barriers they produce can have an influence on cross-departmental communication. Integrating systems, if at all practicable, will require studying their various data formats, comprehending their business logic, and connecting them via APIs.

Aspects of Building Software

To begin with, if you decide to build software build software in-house don’t buy, you must first examine the present status of human expertise. Is your engineering team prepared? Do your experts have the necessary expertise and time to devote to this massive job? Would you require the services of freelance software engineers? When can you anticipate a fully operational system?

The characteristic of a custom software solution is that it requires time and effort to make it beneficial to your company. Various stakeholders in the firm will have to be involved in creating technology that assists in achieving company objectives and incorporates current solutions. In some circumstances, the assistance of IT or professional programmers is required.

A custom software platform can serve as a powerful foundation for enhancing corporate processes.

If your firm is experiencing a disruption in everyday operations and needs a bridge solution for a limited number of impacted systems, building your own solution may not be the best option. However, since construction solutions are not prefabricated, you can design any solution that is perfect for you. Of course, whether a new solution must be adopted fast or if the goal is to have a larger commercial impact, it must be carefully evaluated.

Adaptability process

When compared strengths and weaknesses of build or buy technologies, developing your own software may necessitate an initial investment in time to analyze your workflows and design your software construction. However, you will gain in the long term by having complete control over a solution that is entirely suited to your procedures right now and can evolve with your firm as your needs change.

How Do You Decide Whether to Build or Buy?

Every firm’s organizational structure and customer requirements are unique, so build or buy software decision should be taken on an individual basis.

Here are some points to think about while making that decision for your company.

Use cases

The most crucial issue to address before developing software is what use-cases you want it to address. The system’s use-case determines who the stakeholders are and who will utilize the platform on a daily basis.

For instance, when developing a platform primarily for data collection, machine learning, and analytics, the stakeholders are quite often data analysts, data engineers, and software engineers who are highly technical and at ease with data. A platform designed to create user experiences, on the other hand, would have the same technical stakeholders but must appeal to corporate users, marketers, and anyone else who needs a user-friendly interface to easily engage with the data.

A thorough grasp of the use-cases that must be supplied by the technology you’re constructing or buying has a significant influence on the requirements for the end product.


Buy or build software decision is not a task that should be assigned to an unprepared corporation. The addition of any new element to a business causes some amount of disturbance, the magnitude of which should be considered when deciding whether to construct or acquire.

Most businesses have traditionally operated with their marketing and development teams functioning in silos, with each team having its own databases, procedures, and defined method of working.

As a consequence, using a technology (both built or bought) without first reforming the operational side is a formula for catastrophe. While technology is a necessary accelerator for both business teams and your clients’ success, it is still “only technology.” Individuals and systems in your organization must be in a position to welcome changes. This makes it critical to first assess what organizational changes will be required when deciding whether to build or buy software.

Project scope

Either you want to build or buy, it will be a big project for your organization. Examine the project’s broad scope, covering scheduled meetings, processes, communications, brainstorming meetings, and all possible events. Include the aims, tactics, and particular tasks in the equation as well.

The following consideration is whether the problem you are attempting to tackle is industry-wide or specific to your organization. Many of the difficulties that businesses face today are already covered in commercial software, but if your requirements fall outside of what’s already available, it might be a reason for building.

Custom software would preferably fit within the scope of current instruments and not interfere with ongoing business workflows and tools.


The debate over whether to build custom software vs buying a technology raises a new, and perhaps more serious, issue: security.

How compliant are the bundled software safety systems with the security protocols of your company? What are the security implications of roles, permissions, and management structures? Do you impose new browser features or any other component of safety?

This is particularly important when your processes include extremely sensitive data. Take into account your data access limitations carefully. You might choose to design your own safety firewall to limit the danger of data leaks. Alternatively, you might just place limitations on the tools you purchase. Remember that a confidentiality agreement involving service suppliers protects you.

Opportunity cost

It is obvious that businesses and company leaders are attempting to save costs. The goal to decrease future expenses frequently drives the choice to implement software.

There are two primary objections that come up frequently in the build vs buy software debate. First and foremost, the acquired product will begin to provide value quite instantly. Second, developing a handcrafted product might be an onerous financial burden for the organization. Both points are reasonable. Yet, determining which one is better for a given situation is difficult. A bought solution does not require big investments and may be installed quickly. However, it is more often than not necessary to make either a huge single payment or a monthly payment. You will be continually taxed, and the benefits provided by off-the-shelf products are not always sufficient.

As a result, while producing customized software is more expensive, it will eventually pay for itself as it will provide value to the firm. In the meantime, it is important to reserve judgment and state that you must prudently appraise your talents. Going into debt for the software development process is a horrible idea if you know your company cannot afford such charges.

Flexibility and customization

Off-the-shelf products are so named since they do not require any substantial modifications. Undoubtedly, there are times when software providers make significant modifications and add new features in response to the requests of a large number of consumers. Yet nobody, unfortunately, will do it only for your benefit. If you require extra features right now, just discontinue use of this product and select something else.

On the contrary, because you can identify this potential during the design phase, the solution you create has the ability to scale and extend from the start. As a result, your solution is quickly adaptable to modifications and scales properly in response to evolving business needs.

These criteria are critical in the debate over whether to build or buy software. Of course, certain firms have extra and distinct aspects. Nevertheless, these factors mentioned above are frequently used by organizations to make judgments.

Should You Buy or Build Software?

After understanding the advantages and disadvantages of buying vs building software, as well as the essential aspects to consider during the process, the final dilemma is what should you choose? The answer is straightforward: it depends!

The best option for a company is defined by its specific business needs. When you notice that it is time to purchase technology to address an issue in your business, you must evaluate a variety of variables to determine what is best for you.

So, to summarize all of the elements we’ve discussed and arrange your thoughts, consider the following build vs buy software pros and cons:

Building Software ProsBuilding Software Cons
You specifically create a solution that will undoubtedly add value to your organization and address a particular problem.Creating custom software is frequently more expensive than purchasing a ready-made solution. This may be a daunting burden for many small businesses or startups, so choose your company’s methods wisely.
Custom software would perfectly fit within the range of current tools and not conflict with ongoing business workflows and instruments.The hazards associated with the development procedure are substantial. Beginning with the danger of missing deadlines and running over budget, through the risk of generating a non-working technology that will not deliver you value.
You retain complete control over the software’s functionality. As a result, any adjustments or upgrades are part of your business strategy, not unforeseen events.
If you feel that the program needs to be revised or new features added, you may easily do so.
Buying Software ProsBuying Software Cons
The implementation of a ready-made product does not take long. As a result, it may start providing value right away.You are fully dependent on the provider. Because you are not the ultimate owner of the product, you must rely on the decisions of others. Any modification and scalability for your business needs might be problematic.
The cost of such software can be significantly lower, particularly if it is a monthly fee plan.Even though a ready-made solution can be applied really fast, it does not ensure that your problem will be solved. Your situation may be exceptional, and available solutions may lack the required functionality.
The pricing problem is particularly contentious because the cost of a ready-made solution may eventually outweigh the cost of building custom applications. The reason for this is that you frequently have to pay to utilize the product.
You’re purchasing a solution that your opponents are almost certainly actively utilizing. As a result, even if you resolve your issue, you will be unable to dramatically outflank your rivals that use the same technology.

Summing Up

After examining pros and cons of buy vs build software applications and having a deeper grasp of your company’s demands you may decide which option is better for you. Those who do not have the time or means to design a bespoke software solution can consider purchasing. Building is the most suitable option for people who want a more personalized software solution and want full control over their own upgrades, integrated apps, and system security.

We recommend that you carefully consider whether to build or buy software and thoroughly research your options in order to make the best decision for your company.

If you want experienced help, the DashDevs fintech software developmentteam is ready to answer all of your concerns and build the best solution for your company!

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