Make or Buy: Eternal Dilemma

Make or Buy: Eternal Dilemma

During my career, first as a consultant and later as an entrepreneur, I found myself frequently facing this question and the answer, as you can imagine, it’s not simple nor unique, but it depends. I would like to share with you my reflexions that I hope might be helpful to clarify your doubts and to make the most appropriate decision.

We found out that computer technology could change our way of living on the last century, but it has become obvious with the general access to the Internet in mid-’90s and the usage of the web by users and companies.

Since then we made enormous progress and by now the only thing we can be sure of is that each business process must be supported by technology, and the question becomes by which software.

Quoting a modern-day guru:

So how can we imagine our company projecting into the future without considering software as an integral part of this, as much as the people that integrate into it? Would you build a company by hiring without selection?

This is not a trivial topic, the software, as much as the people, can heavily contribute towards the organizational success and choosing poorly can bring devastating results.

We know how painful it is to fire someone, it’s costly and above all, it is a huge loss of time for both parts. It is the same for choosing a software that, just like the human resources, should be considered a strategic process, well structured and above all continuous.

With the objective of bringing our company towards a complete digitalization of our processes, it is necessary that each component is homogenous, integrated and seamless for contributing and creating the desired value.

Another consideration concerns the speed in which the technology follows the market and the speed in which it can become obsolete.

This is an important theme because you should aim towards those partners that have shown to be able to follow or even anticipate the market trends, therefore they can guarantee that we are not making an “already old” choice.

A further consideration concerns the volatility of the human that works on technology and the difficulty of guaranteeing the product’s quality.

Developing the first release of a software is relatively easy, evolving it over time without creating a monster is the difficult part.

The task becomes even more difficult if the software is developed by different people/companies over time. This is the most critical point of the make choice and it applicable if the make is internal or even helped by a third-party company.

Stated those premises we return to the question: Make or Buy?

My personal belief is in the middle, or better it is to Buy with a little of Make.

I will explain, as an entrepreneur I must include in the conditions that it must have the needed instruments when I need them and the integration must be a fast process that brings me an immediate benefit!

My vision of a digital company is that of having an informative organizational system made from a software of the market (Buy) for covering the main functionalities of the company and that is possible to “insert” other little pieces offered in the market (Buy) or develop small integrations and customizations (Make).

Obviously I leave to each one to have their own opinions about their own experience, what I can add as a closing statement of the previous thought is, in the first company of consulting that I have worked for 14 years, in the beginning, everything was internally developed and the inside projects were the most difficult to manage and frequently were significantly delayed because the priority was the clients.

But at that time there wasn’t the cloud and moreover, software hadn’t such a developed market they have today.

Luckily today it is different and in Mapadore, each process is covered in one software as a service, from services of Office Automation, CRM, Scheduling, CMS, Billing, …

Is it a coincidence?

Fabrizio Bosio – CEO