You may be able to get by using free and more public apps for a while, but eventually, your business is going to hit a point where it needs unique pieces of software to function. Whatever your needs, this will come down to the choice between developing software in-house, and buying it commercially. If you’re on the fence over this decision, here’s a closer look into the pros and cons of both…
Possibly the biggest benefit of choosing to develop your software in-house is the level of customization it allows for. Though chances are there’s some commercial software out there which will suit your needs fine, it’s almost certain that it’s not going to have the same efficiency as a program that’s been designed for your business, by your business. By making sure a given piece of software covers every little aspect you want it to, you can minimize a lot of room for error, and tailor the program to specific departments or functions in your organization. Furthermore, while the software’s in development, you can share certain details with the staff who will be using it, and get them familiar with the interface and functions well before they need to be.
The big, glaring con which hangs over in-house development is that it’s a potentially complex challenge for the in-house developers who work for your company. If the software’s reasonably basic, and there are limited test metrics you need to cover before the program can be used, then it shouldn’t be too much of a thorn in your developers’ sides. However, if you’re going for something more sophisticated, that covers a range of complex functions, you might quickly discover that the project’s more trouble than it’s worth. This, in turn, can lead to you bringing in expensive consultants who aren’t familiar with your business.
The most significant benefit of commercial software is that it’s been rigorously tested by other businesses before you. Unless you have your eye on a completely new program released by a start-up, there are going to be other brands that have taken the bullet for you, so to speak. One quick Google search is often all it takes to find out about potential errors, and forecast what this would mean for your business. Overall, there’s a much greater chance that the software will be free of glitches and will work smoothly right out of the box.
On the other hand, commercial software can quickly rack up high maintenance and support costs. When you’re trying to address any of the technical issues you may come across, you’re most likely going to be at the mercy of the vendor you bought the software from, who will set and change the price of service as they like. Furthermore, there may be a hefty waiting time for you to get the tech support you need. This means you may be required to jump through a number of hoops before you actually get to talk to someone who can give you the answers you’re looking for.