6 Factors to Consider in a Build vs Buy Software Decision

Do we build in house software we need, or do we outsource software development and buy it?

It’s the choice that every company faces

Do we build in house software we need, or do we outsource software development and buy it?

A paper to help you make the right decision for your device software development

6 Factors to Consider in a Build vs Buy Software Decision

Off the Shelf Software or Develop in House?

Time to Market

How fast do you need to move? A short delay can be the difference between leading the race to market and being an also-ran. If you buy off the shelf then you accelerate your software time to market but you’ll need to compromise on feature sets and set up an integration team, too.

Company Culture

Is your company culture one of builders or buyers? Do your teams prefer making software from scratch in their own walled garden, or do they draw inspiration from and execute alongside external teams? Keeping your corporate culture in mind when making your build vs buy software decision is key.

Upgradeability

Think ahead to when you need to upgrade the software or firmware on your product. Building your software in-house means you have greater control over the upgrade and its impact on the product. If you’re dependent on outside software, you’re dependent on others which could be far from ideal.

Ownership

You own your product, but do you own the software stack? The advantages of outsourcing software development include moving faster but you take on risk and lose out on value if you’re sharing data with a third party. You lower risk by going in-house, but you’ll need to hire and retain teams capable of keeping up with your product.

Risk Management

When you choose to make or buy software, you’re making a choice about risk. There’s no riskless option here: buying software means taking on the risk of relying on a third-party while building in-house software means overcoming technical gaps, avoiding feature creep, and mitigating financial and investment risk.

Total Cost of Ownership

A simple game of trade-offs: do you want to save money in the short term and outsource software development or cut costs in the long term? Buying software in house is cheaper than development right now but will add up in the future. Building is a higher short-term investment, but you’ll recoup it all down the line.

There are advantages and disadvantages of in-house software development just as there are off the shelf software advantages and disadvantages – but how do you choose?

Making the right choice can mean the difference between a successful product launch, making a strong market impact, and retaining that market position through software upgrade cycles, or being slow to launch, poorly positioned, and slipping from use.

At Witekio this is a choice that our clients face every day. Our teams help customers make the right decision by weighing the costs and benefits of building or outsourcing software development for their products. Drawing on the expertise gained from delivering hundreds of projects every single year for two decades, we’ve collected and distilled our best advice into a Build vs Buy Checklist – simply fill out the form on this page to inform the best choice for your business.

Download Witekio's paper

6 Factors to Consider in a Build vs Buy Software Decision