In-house or third party digital development? We can help with your answer

We’ve all had times in our lives where we question whether we should do things ourselves or pay for someone else to do it.

Perhaps at it’s simplest form, it’s a deciding if we should cook our own dinner or pay for a takeaway. Deciding if the better option is to hire a personal trainer or do some research ourselves.

We all, individually, have a threshold on each key of our lives e.g. travel, convenience and cost. Some people will pay for a Taxi everywhere they go, whereas their friend will walk.

Businesses have these, too.

This used to be the debate when it came down to outsourcing technology work versus having someone in-house.

Today, I don’t think there’s a debate. Here’s why.

Technology companies have become industry specific. Software has filtered down into nearly every industry (oil probably being the last due to its complexity). The productivity space is full of it, communication tech is overcrowded and most likely if there’s something you’d want to digitise, there is something already out there. It’s no longer a third party software company with no idea about your company or industry.

Take OnlineFuels, we’re a technology company with years of experience in the industry, not just a software powerhouse trying to tackle a new market. James has worked in the industry for over 10 years and every day we’re talking to our users to develop a product that really enhances businesses in the downstream fuel market.

We even integrate with your current systems to be an enhancement of your current processes and techniques (we’ll even work closely with you to get these integrations if your current platform is built in-house).

Modern teams work with an agile methodology. I won’t go into huge amounts of detail here, but it has enabled teams to adapt quickly to changes and increase productivity through ordering tasks by priority and working in two-week ‘sprints’ to get these priorities done- and then repeating. It allows for your changing needs to be met with much more flexibility throughout the project. Rather than a set project.

There are huge costs that come with in-house teams. And it’s a lot more than your developer’s salary. First, you have to spend money hiring them. The best talent expects the best benefits. They’re in high demand and can leave at any point, exposing you to that risk of having to start the recruitment process allll over again. Costs can spiral- and there’s no going back. Unless you call it day.

Software is not a finite material- brain power is. If you’re up against a team of 10 developers, working with several of your competitors, constantly gathering knowledge of the industry, listening to what tools should come next, you’re going to have trouble building a product with a similar capacity.

Communication is no longer an issue. 50% of the UK workforce predicted to work remotely by 2020, new technology in communication and internet must be doing the trick. Having someone sat in your office whilst they worked on your platform used to be a hugely important factor. Getting new ideas or issues across to remote teams previously caused headaches for a lot of businesses.

In-house takes a LOT longer. In-house projects are notoriously long. They include a lot of confirmation from decision makers and often get put to the back to make way for other priorities within the business.

Not to mention the much larger teams, third party teams have a lot more time to gather research, plan the product, test the product, build the product. With OnlineFuels, you also get the industry knowledge and years of feedback from our existing users that help drive all the decisions we make to our product exactly what you need from software in the downstream fuel market.

Competing software has been around for a long time. If you decide to go in-house today, you will be competing against businesses that have been around for years. At least 3. Very likely more. And as long as these teams keep hiring young talent, you can’t even say you’ve got the ‘new approach’ as an advantage.

A final note.

In-house developers or IT professionals are excluded from this. Outsourcing everything is a bad idea. Having an in-house IT professional to fix or amend immediate tasks and issues is almost essential.

Sam Hunter
Sam Hunter
swh@onlinefuels.local

Sam joined OnlineFuels to help with all things marketing. With a background in freelance Web Design and Content Writing, he's decided to bring his talents in-house to help drive the OnlineFuels brand!

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