Most organizations leverage some software as a service. QuickBooks, Microsoft 365, Salesforce just to name a few. As a leader of a small organization, you probably don’t have the time or expertise to research all the software options available to best fit your needs. It is also challenging to build a custom solution because the cost and involvement is much higher.

Option #1 – Buy


  • Cheaper
  • Easier to implement
  • Usually Scalable


  • Doesn’t do exactly what you want (usually the minimal customizations are not good enough)
  • Often complicated with features you don’t need
  • You don’t own the software (and sometimes your data also)

Option #2 – Build


  • The software is designed to fit your process
  • Includes only the features you need but gives you a platform to scale as you grow
  • You own the software as an asset (increases the value of your company)
  • Minimal maintenance


  • More expensive
  • More time consuming to implement

When considering a Build vs. Buy approach, never assume that one option is better than the other. Here are a list of factors that need to be considered:

  • Who is the company that is building the software? Or, who is the company that manages the pre-built product?
  • How will the company partner with you over time to ensure the software is providing value to your organization?
  • What is the long term vs. short term costs?
  • What is the ROI?

These decisions are difficult to navigate unless you have a partner with the depth of expertise and experience with the tech landscape and who can understand your particular needs.