Build in-house or outsource? It’s not a simple choice

Deciding whether to handle resources internally or externally may seem easy, but getting it wrong can cause long-term damage Build or buy? This question teases out many of the issues facing a company. Photograph: Anders Brohus/AP How does a company know what resources should be developed internally versus what should be handled externally? This question teases out all the meaty issues facing a company – past, present and future. It’s not really the answer that matters so much. The important thing is how companies deal with the question. There’s a tendency to answer the question using simplistic on/off rules like “if it’s related to revenue then keep it in-house” or “if it’s cheaper to buy it then go outside”. We all want simple answers to problems. But getting this decision wrong can be very damaging. Hidden costs and other unknowns can make things take two or three times longer or many times more expensive to deliver. Also technology can evolve faster than implementation leaving the original decision irrelevant before the job is even done. John Allspaw is the chief technology officer at Etsy, and author of two books about web operations. He says the build or buy discussion is a very important part of running a healthy business. “The best choice for the organisation is where the company is, not how featureful a product is. It’s not a technical decision. It’s a cultural one.” While the question is crucial for all sectors it is particularly relevant to media companies and… MORE …

Build in-house or outsource? It’s not a simple choice

Source: Guardian