Build Versus Buy When Going Custom is a Differentiator


When it comes to software, should you go custom or buy off-the-shelf? This is the question I’ve been answering in a four-part “Build Versus Buy” series on Technology executives understand the answer to this question is rarely black-and-white. And, while TCO (total cost of ownership) is a valid metric to consider, it’s not the only thing that matters when making the call. Ultimately, what matters is whether your technology solutions are driving business value or hindering it.  

One key factor that determines if a solution is driving business value is if it is differentiating your company from the competition. In the article I wrote for Forbes, I recommended that you should consider building versus buying a custom solution when it will help you: 

1. Differentiate Your Customer Experience 

It's difficult to separate your business from competitors if you’re using the same software solution as everybody else. Often, customized technology tools are required to enable the most efficient processes and procedures because they can be tailored specifically to your business needs.

Conversely, it doesn’t make sense to customize solutions that customers don’t see and that won’t impact them. If it works well, don’t reinvent the wheel (think workforce management, project management tools, enterprise resource planning, etc.).

2. Enable Agility To Respond To Customer Demands

One question businesses should be constantly asking themselves is: If/when customer buying patterns change, how quickly are we set up to pivot? The ability to adjust to customer demands quickly is a critical competitive advantage. When you invest in a custom solution, you own the product and are able to make changes on your timetable, rather than being at the mercy of a SaaS provider’s upgrade schedule.

Technology investments have the potential to create efficiency, streamline processes and “wow” your customer. Make sure you are investing in products (whether custom or out-of-the-box) that enhance your customer experience and differentiate your business.  At Artisan, we love walking with clients to help them make wise decisions when it comes to technology. If you are contemplating a build-verse-buy decision, need a provider to customize your existing platform, or build something from scratch. We are here to help

More by

Tim Mitrovich

Ready to reach your goals? We’re here to help.

Contact us