Buy or Build Software?

The Pros and Cons of Outsourced Software Development

Why Choose Bespoke Build Outsourced Software Development?

We are often asked whether its more cost-effective to buy 'off-the shelf’ software than commissioning a bespoke, customised outsourced software development solution. Consider the following regarding cost and functionality:

  • How do I ensure I've all the required features and functionality, meeting my current needs and anticipating future growth and development?
  • How do I achieve the best value for money within my budget?

At Pace IT we specialise in developing robust, bespoke IT systems. Our experience working, with many established and emerging clients, has yielded solid evidence that bespoke systems are the most likely to deliver increased ROI over time than bought in systems.

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Bespoke - Saving You time & money

A bespoke system is built around your processes and therefore fits your business like a glove. This is the opposite when choosing packaged software – you try to fit the glove! There's often a complex implementation phase during which you will adjust some business processes to fit the packaged product's functionality.

This is a highly inefficient way to approach your technology needs - it makes more sense to build a system around your required processes and functionality, improving efficiency and avoiding feature redundancies.

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A Bespoke system Is easier to augment & modify

A bespoke approach offers the flexibility to add features and functionality in the future as your business develops and grows. Updates may be cumbersome with 'off-the-shelf' software, and may only offer a 'best fit', otherwise you may need to swap out the entire system as your business grows. In the long run, a bespoke system can cost you less.

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Packaged Software Isn't Always Cheaper!

Beware of hidden costs when changing existing business processes. Packaged software may offer lower upfront costs, but remember to add on licence fees and support costs. A bespoke system has one upfront development cost and ongoing support charges. Over time, the operational benefits bespoke delivers - due to its close alignment with your business and operations - delivers ROI that is unachievable with packaged software.

A bespoke system is built around your processes and therefore fits your business like a glove.

David Ritchie, Commercial Director, Pace IT Systems

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Control Over Updates & Functionality

Bought in software has faster obsolescence over custom built systems. A bespoke system can be adapted at will, responding to business, customer and user changes, but there's little or no control over the frequency or scope of updates made to packaged systems. Control here is in the hands of the supplier.

When updates finally arrive, they may not be what your business wants but may be applied anyway! Any additional changes you make will be on the supplier's terms, and using their code. This is often a costly and unsatisfactory situation.

Many commercial applications also include but-in obsolescence, where later you’re obliged to purchase the latest upgrade for continued support and updates. You may, therefore, end up spending less in the long-term with a bespoke system that, at first, seems obvious.

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