Today the majority of changes and improvements that happen to large companies are related to the adoption of new technologies. Sometimes these technologies are developed by external providers, which are specialised in their own domain.
By working with a specialised vendor, the company saves a lot of time that would be normally spent in software development and configurations. Moreover, some providers create software that are extremely user-friendly, and do not require technical skills to be used. This is also a great, because non-technical business users become immediately involved with the product, and contribute to its adoption.
However, a good number of companies decide to create a solution internally. In this case, the situation changes, and quite some problems arise. It may seem cheaper to work with internal resources, as they are already available at the company, and therefore there’s no extra budget to be requested. It also gives some people the sensation that they have more control over the project.
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I can summarise the main challenges of creating a solution internally, with your own tech team, in the next few points:
Number one: your team, even if made of great professionals, is never going to be as specialised as the one of an external provider that has created and deployed a similar solution to dozens of other companies similar to yours. Especially if we talk about true innovation, the technologies involved in a project could be quite new, and still in their infancy. This adds a level of complication that could result in a crisis, if managed by the non-specialized technology team of an enterprise. This also applies when your company works with a large consulting firm, or with a company that offers a variety of services, but is not focused specifically on yours. So if you have to pick your next provider, you should always prefer a smaller but more focused product company, to a larger vendor, that operates in different verticals.
Number two: having your team working on a truly innovative solution, which requires the development or the adoption of cutting edge technologies, is not going to be cheaper than purchasing the whole thing from a specialized, external vendor. Why? Because your provider would have the solution that you have in mind ready to be deployed, hopefully with limited setup costs. You will not have to wait months, or years, because the final result that you would reach with your team in a long period, it’s ready to be used, and probably, it has already been tested by other companies in your industry. The benefit of using the new innovative solution earlier, would also your company become more successful earlier, therefore working with an external vendor could easily have a higher ROI, already in the early days.
Number three: when creating a new innovative solution, the adoption is crucial to make sure it won’t die in the hands of the technical teams. In the last years I have seen so many good software that haven’t contributed to the innovation of the company just because it took too long for the technical department to create them, and afterward the team failed in gaining internal adoption, and grow the usage. Having business users actually using the product is as difficult as creating it, and this capability is hardly within the technology department of any company. On the contrary, if you work with a specialised vendor, it’s for sure that they already have a clear and smooth strategy to have your business colleagues use the product, and be happy with it.
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