Bespoke vs Off the Shelf
To buy, or to build (software)?
As a digital agency and consultancy, a question we’re often (very often), and rightly asked goes something like this- “Should we be building this, or buying it off-the-shelf?“
An important, yet under-investigated word in that question is what exactly the “this” you’re considering building or buying is. Literally, what is it? There are a plethora of brilliant articles available (here, here, and here, we even did one) to help you understand the inevitable trade-offs you’re making by taking either approach.
Drilling down into the “this”, questioning and picking it apart from first principles, can radically simplify your decision making process and speed up your decision making.
So rather than share our opinions on the well documented trade-offs, I thought I’d share a simple framework we use as a conversation starter to support our clients in making those tricky, but strategic, buy vs build decisions.
The Mubaloo Buy vs Build Framework:
This works as a great conversation starter. By beginning to poke at the tricky “this” question, helps us make more informed, strategic recommendations to our clients, and hopefully can help you to start asking the same questions about the challenges in your business.
Beyond our Buy vs Build framework we often support our clients:
- Making the business case for build
- Understanding user needs to drive decision making
- Write requirements for builds
- Assess vendors, and provide requirements when buying off-the-shelf
Let us know if you find it a useful framework, or get in touch if you’d like to talk more about your tricky buy vs build decision.