Should Utilities and Telcos Build or Buy their Asset Management Software?
Regarding asset management software platforms on the market today, you may ask, “Why buy one when we have a IT team that could build one in-house?”
Building software in-house may seem like a less expensive option at first, but there are a number of factors in play that you may not consider. If not implemented correctly, a software solution can end up costing you a lot more, in money and resource allocation. Therefore, when it comes to build vs. buy, there are a few questions you may want to consider before making a decision.
1. What does our business really need?
Make a list of everything you want to get out of an asset management software system. There are basic things like categorizing and cataloging inventory data, flexible search options, and easy communication with your partner companies. It also needs to have an intuitive, easy-to-use interface. Every company is different. What are your specific asset management needs, and how can a software solution best meet them?
2. Can we build it?
It's one thing to say, "Oh, our IT team can build something," but it's another to take your specific list of requirements and turn it into the software you want. We have worked with many businesses that have fallen into the “we can build it” trap. Often, a specialized third party solution that utilizes best practices will save time, money and resources because all the heavy-lifting in thinking and development have already been done. No need to reinvent the wheel.
3. Is there a professional software platform that meets my specific needs?
A professional software suite does not mean a cookie cutter solution. There are flexible options available that allow you to customize your system to fit your company's specific needs and business processes.
4. Will building it really be more cost-effective?
Money is not the only factor and even if it were, it can still be much less expensive to purchase software already on the market. To build software from scratch takes personnel resources who could otherwise focus on the core function of your business.
Considering these factors can help you make a better-informed decision. So build in-house, or buy? Can you build a quality software solution that functions the way you need? Maybe. However, good business dictates consideration of all options and a professional third party software solution that is easy to use and flexible enough to meet your company's needs, may just be the best answer.