Should you buy or build a custom application?

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This is a common corporate dilemma.  Businesses that do not have a dedicated IT staff usually turn to industry-specific commercial of-the-shelf (COTS) software or ready-made software solutions by third-party vendors.  Another option, but not as effective, is to use generic productivity software like word processor or spreadsheets and create templates and forms to accommodate their business workflows and processes. 

COTS software normally meets the requirements of many organizations.  The business model for COTS software is to be as generic as possible in order to sell to as many organizations as possible.  For this reason, these types of software usually have tons of features that may be good for one organization but not necessarily applicable to yours.  In any case, you end of paying for all the features regardless if you need them or not.  The initial cost of this type of software may be low; however, if you factor in the missing features or added features that make the software more complicated has its price.  Another important thing to mention is that organizations have little or no control as to the future of the software. COTS software is property of a vendor and any decision to add, remove or change a feature lies solely on them.  Organizations using COTS are pretty much ‘stuck’ with what they have.  In other words, organizations are at the mercy of the vendor in terms of the future of the software.  By all means, if it works just fine and there is no desire to make improvements based on your requirements then this may be the quickest and cost-effective solution for your organization.

Another alternative that is usually chosen by larger-type businesses is to build custom software solutions for their specific organization.  Custom applications overcome many of the barriers that you have with COTS software.  They are built precisely with your organizations specific needs and requirements.  After the custom software is built, your organization is the sole-owner and has the ultimate control as to whether a new or enhanced feature is needed.  The organization is in control of the future of their custom application.

Whether you need to integrate and streamline your systems, or need to convert all those Excel files into a web application, HaonTech can help you meet your business objectives and work 'smarter'. We specialize in helping healthcare, education, non-profit and many small businesses improve their operational efficiency and productivity with custom solutions.  Call us today at 888-999-3042 for a free consultation.