As a CIO, CTO, or Director of IT, balancing your company’s immediate needs with its long-term growth is paramount to success, but one of business’s greatest challenges. Complicated questions arise, such as whether you should invest aggressively in long-term initiatives or take a less expensive and more conservative approaches.
A common piece of this puzzle is the “build versus buy” question that many companies face when addressing their long-term software needs. In other words, does an out-of-the-box solution address all of your company’s unique needs, or do you need a customized solution that is designed specifically for your organization?
We often see business decision makers wrestling with this choice when it comes to finding a solution to manage their workplace, take care of meeting room bookings, or simply understand workplace utilization.
Pros and cons are weighed as IT and business leaders attempt to determine which route is most cost effective and efficient. It’s often incredibly difficult to accurately estimate the long-term consequences of this decision, which later leaves those on the front lines struggling to pick up the slack and deal with the choice that was ultimately made.
Today, the pace of technological innovation is accelerating at an almost exponential rate, making it difficult for the average internal IT group to cope with this pace of change. Just look at the velocity of new features launched in Microsoft Azure, Office 365, and all the different APIs used to connect everything together to a solution that meets the business needs.
Companies who choose the road of customized software creation must also maintain and upgrade it indefinitely going forward. This is an incredible suck of internal resources.
Despite all of this, building the software has frequently won out in this debate in the past, but with the relatively recent introduction of generic, standardized Software as a Service solutions, the tables are turning. Now, even global enterprises in both public and private sectors that have historically invested tens of millions of dollars in internal IT projects are beginning to migrate to SaaS applications that handle all the IT operations considered not to be “mission-critical-for-the-business.”
Meeting Room Booking: Do you need a customized solution to meet the needs for your business?
To tell you the truth, meeting room booking needs do not dramatically differ between companies. Employees' needs almost always include finding an available time slot, finding a room that fits your needs, inviting guests, and booking. That's it.
It seems then, that the large organizations who are considering building their own meeting management solution to meet their specific criteria are doing so out of habit.
So I ask: Why try to build your own solution that meeting management specialists have already spent countless hours refining, optimizing, and perfecting?
When deciding whether to buy or build, you must consider three key points:
- What is the scope of the problem you are trying to address with this software, and how complex does your solution need to be to fit your business size and needs?
- Does your organization currently have (or can you hire) experts capable of building, maintaining, and supporting the solution? Not only now, but also going forward?
- Is using the software critical to your business operations and mission?
Answering these three questions should lead you to the answer: No, you shouldn’t build your own solution. Instead, invest in a standardized SaaS solution to avoid struggling with finding the resources to build your own in-house, disconnected, disjointed solution.
Five reasons why you should buy a SaaS meeting management solution for you Outlook and Office 365 environment, not build one
1. You value managed service solutions
There is great value in moving away from running Exchange and other critical solutions on-premise in your environment and migrating into the cloud. Using a managed service solution (i.e. AskCody) to meet meeting management needs is entirely consistent with your decision to move away from those on-premise restrictions.
Perhaps you've already moved to Office 365 or Azure AD, and are using other cloud services to optimize the time spent on important things. Continue down that road with a meeting management solution that works seamlessly together with the rest of your cloud solutions.
2. You have a limited budget
The costs associated with building their own custom software may be one of the first and most logical reasons for a business to avoid choosing this option. Canned SaaS solutions are cheaper and therefore can make much more financial sense for a company with a smaller budget. Especially when maintenance and compatibility costs are added going forward for the lifetime of the solution.
3. Avoiding the on-going responsibility of home-built solution vs. out-of-the-box solution
Your team has invested meaningful hours in coding the SharePoint solution, a web-based portal, or even mobile app. When the specification was completed, it was state-of-the-art. Now, when you team is using 11 different versions of an Android device, not so much …
Looking to the future, there will always be regular updates and maintenance required any time changes occur to your network or one of your users has an issue. Your team will have to step away from real, mission-critical tasks and to update your home-built solution. Even more complications and frustrations arise when those responsible for that solution switch positions or leave the company.
4. You have a lack of technical proficiency and time
If you do not have a strong enough software team with the necessary skills to build out this custom software, it would be wise to pass on the opportunity until you do have such a team in place. If you cannot hold your software developers accountable for such a project, it will be impossible to create a state-of-the-art product. Building proprietary software takes a great deal of time to complete successfully. Businesses that do not have the time or resources available should not immediately pursue it. We’ve seen this end with disastrous results.
5. AskCody’s Outlook/Office 365 add-in would eliminate the disjointed experience of home-built or other third-party solutions
AskCody’s complete meeting management add-in would provide full room finding capabilities for end-users directly within Outlook and Office 365. The experience is seamless, as opposed to end users forced to navigate to a third-party solution outside of their mailbox every time they book a meeting. Forget about thinking about updates, maintenance, or compatibility ever again.
As you can see, we don't really consider build vs. buy to be much of a decision at all. At AskCody, we've perfected the meeting management process, and have already anticipated your employees' every need.
Leave it to us, we'll make sure today is a great day for meetings!