Developing your own or using an external software solution?

Thomas Ungricht

The temptation to have their own software tailored to their needs is great for many companies. But most underestimate the undertaking. Or which company builds its own company cars just because it has its own fleet?


There is next to no company that does not need a custom-tailored software solution for a particular area of their business. It is then easy to think about developing this solution yourself and the reasoning behind this is very understandable: The self-developed software is very individual - in every way.

The solution belongs exclusively to the company where it was developed and is probably perfectly tailored to their processes and needs.

This, however, concludes the advantages of developing your own software. The disadvantages are often not apparent until later.

Hidden issues in self-development

  • A piece of software is never completely done!
    The company's requirements or those of its surroundings change over time. The software needs to be maintained and developed further. But by whom? Only bigger companies have their own IT departments who are up to the task. Any external supplier who might have developed the software for you years ago? Their hourly rates will quickly strain your budget.
  • You bear all of the risk
    When you develop your own software, all associated risk is yours to bear. This includes financial as well as operative risks. About 50 percent of IT projects fail and the number of projects that go over budget is just as high. Deadlines can only be adhered to in very few projects, as the requirements often change during the development phase.
  • Cluster risk IT developer
    The software developer who engineered the solution for you leaves your company. When this happens, their knowledge of how to maintain and further develop the software also leaves your company.

The advantages of a SaaS solution

  • Don't buy the pig in a poke.
    When purchasing external software, you can usually see what you buy. The solutions are well thought out, ready for use and the price is known.
  • Stay in control of the costs
    With a so-called SaaS solution(Software as a Service) such as Staffcloud, your costs are clear and readily calculable from the beginning. Oftentimes, SaaS solutions include updates, as well as the most urgent support. With Staffcloud, you'll have a clear idea of your costs for the whole year from the start.
  • Custom-made solution off the peg
    Every company aims for a solution that is tailored perfectly to their processes. Mature SaaS solutions usually show a high level of customisability which is very close to that of a self-developed solution.

The conclusion

Self-developed software is hardly effective for small and mid-sized companies. The development and maintenance costs, which the companies have to bear themselves, are too high. With a SaaS solution in the area of staff planning for temporary staff, the risks are shared between different bearers and the necessary development and maintenance is taken care of.

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