When a ready software is not the best option for your business

25 May 2021

Alexey Borisov

Co-Founder of Rocketech

Nowadays many people are entering the IT market and many of them are trying to enter smart and fast. I’m talking about buying some ready-made software.

ROCKETECH specializes in custom-made projects, today we will talk about the general view of the situation. What are the risks? Pros and cons of buying ready-made software and after-effects that will accompany you.

From the Founder's side and business-wise when you see some ready software you think that it is fine and you see only advantages, but also you have some disadvantages that you need to think over before. Here is the pros and cons table of composition Custom-made software and ready SDK at the perspective of different edges.

Comparing factors Software from scratchBuying ready software
Time to market slowfast
Architecture standability and scalabilityDesigning according to requirements Depend on someone’s code designers
Tech stackUsually choosing according to your business needsHave been chosen by someone according to vendor needs
Financial resources Could be cheap in the first MVPUsually expensive
Maintenance and supportDeveloper can design architecture to make it stable with close to 0 needs for supportMaintenance will be together with the developer and you will have to spend a lot of time and resources in to build a team for internal maintenance
New feature implementation Software is designed for thatStacked with current core and new features can’t be implemented fast only with a vendor who possible will make it for a quite expensive amount of money
Development difficulty Very complicated to find the right software developer and to release everything Only for new features and possible particular tech stack

These are the main points of comparison and as you see there are pros and cons for every way you choose. One last thing - don’t forget that if you come to the vendor who specializes in developing some ready systems and after-sale, their main aim is stuck you like a customer as long as it possible develop for you some extra functionality that you require, use not popular tech stack that will cost really a lot for you if you try to find you own developer for platform maintenance. So here we have the risks of buying ready software and we will give suggestions on how you can adjust the risks.

  1. Know your tech stack before buying. Sometimes vendors and sales give you a lot of confidence that the systems they are providing are really good but knowing the core of it and its technology is rather important because of the risk of replacing developers from your side, scaling ability, fast and cheap changes, etc. If you decide to buy ready software check the tech stack and better with many different developers.
  2. Vulnerabilities that we learn about only after the purchase or the first improvements. Try to put in the contract some point about this or use another way of adjusting this risk.
  3. With the complexity and high cost of improvements, new developers will need time to plunge into the code and this time, if a large project takes a long segment, will require a lot of money. Advice fixing agreements about this in the contract before and be answered about this.
  4. The inability to do exactly the required additional features. Every project and startup is unique. It means custom-made tools all the time, fast improvements, and better to make it cheap. Unfortunately, when you are buying some ready backend or SDK or another tool there will be something that you can’t make or it will cost you so much if it will be done by the seller.

These are the main risks if you decide to buy some backend or ready systems. At ROCKETECH we believe that it is better to be prepared and try to negotiate and avoid risks before buying something ready from a vendor.

Last but not least there is a huge global market of SaaS. This is a subscription for access to the software. The main advantage of the SaaS model for the consumer of the service is the absence of costs associated with installing, updating, and maintaining the equipment and software running on it. So the provider is not giving you the code, he is giving just access to the code. Don’t make the mistake of comparing this model with building up custom software or buying ready software. Because this is a slightly different model and we didn’t consider it in the current article.

To sum up, buying something ready is not a bad idea and you need to just be prepared for everything that we have talked about, inability, long time for changes, not popular tech stack all this have to be very much analyzed before otherwise you risk wasting your money. Our experience shows that the best products come out with a balance of risks and minimization of them. Unfortunately, buying software is still a very risky deal, but if you understand the risks that we talked about earlier, go for it!
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