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BUILDING IN-HOUSE

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The idea of building an in-house mobile solution seems logical at first, especially if your company isn’t interested in dealing with cookie-cutter platforms. But building a homegrown solution that has the right look, feel, and function comes with some drawbacks...

✔ Building can be unpredictable

Homegrown solutions rarely launch on time with the functionality needed. In fact, 46% of all internal software projects under-deliver on requirements. Even worse, 43% under-deliver while still going over budget, and 51% are late (if they’re ever launched at all).

Most projects fail due to factors beyond IT’s control, such as unexpected budget adjustments, scope creep, and pressure from the top to meet unrealistic deadlines. These unforeseen obstacles can add up quickly. Before you know it, your project could end up dead in the water, like 68% of all homegrown initiatives.

✔ Be wary of ongoing costs and conflicting motivations

Any time you embark on an internal build, you’ve got to consider the resource drain involved. Chances are, your team will be busy working on your project and won’t have much time for anything else. This need for dedicated resources won’t go away after implementation, either. Not even close. Remember, there’s maintenance, support, and ongoing innovation to consider.

Support and maintenance will be some of the most costly and time-consuming commitments of building a mobile platform, especially right after you launch. In fact, companies with in-house solutions spend up to 80% of their original budget fixing post-launch defects. After that, they spend an additional 15-20% each year on support and maintenance. This usually means hiring a new team to manage everything – not an inexpensive endeavor to say the least.

Think about how frequently iOS and Android Operating Systems are upgraded, not to mention browsers. New features and security updates will always require ongoing maintenance, and users will always expect that you’re making improvements to keep up with OS innovations.

You could also consider hiring a third-party consultant to supplement your team’s efforts and help them navigate the ups and downs of building, supporting, and maintaining your solution. But remember, a consultant’s motivation is different from yours. They aren’t as invested in the long-term success of your platform as an internal team would be. And while their intentions of building a great product for you are probably good, they will always be focused on their own bottom line, and looking for ways to secure ongoing revenue sources. If you’re not diligent in managing your consultant’s costs, you could find yourself stuck paying for added expenses and surprise charges when their invoices arrive.

✔ Temper expectations at launch (and beyond)

Since most internal architects and developers don’t have time to do anything but code to meet requirements, homegrown solutions rarely offer any added utility or surprise features. In fact, 46% of "important features" are either dropped altogether, or pushed out for "phase 2" — which may never even happen.

Also consider the fact that homegrown builds usually don’t work for other divisions within your company, nor are they created to scale and pivot with your business as it grows and shifts. Even worse, in the year or so it takes to build an in-house platform, the governing rules, regulations, and procedures for your industry could could quickly change, leaving your solution out-of-date before it even launches.

As for ongoing innovation, even the largest enterprises can’t afford to let an investment as large as a mobile data collection platform grow stale and outdated. You don’t want to rest on your laurels for the next 1-5 years as your competition slowly makes your "new" solution look like it was built in the Stone Age. So, if you plan on continuing to innovate your in-house build (which you should), be prepared to hire even more employees in addition to your requisite support and maintenance teams.

In-House Solution Checklist

  • Have the technical expertise and IT staffing you need
  • Employ project managers with IT experience
  • Be prepared to dominate your tech team’s time
  • Define requirements before development starts
  • Have time to stay current on industry tech trends
  • Set objectives and milestones beyond deployment
  • Have resources for maintenance & upgrades

Internal software projects:
By the numbers

don't succeed
68%
are delivered late
51%
have cost overruns
43%
under-deliver on requirements
46%
of budget goes to fixing defects
80%

Pros/Cons of Building In-House

PROS
  • Tailored to business needs
  • Complete control of solution
  • Developers know nuances
  • Ownership of code
  • Full control and flexibility
  • Support from developers
CONS
  • Extended dev timeline
  • Internal resource drain
  • Software quickly out of date
  • No economy of scale
  • No documentation or training, minimal support
  • Ongoing support & maintenance costs
  • Stability & security questions

Internal Builds and the Form.com Difference

Problem
Form.com
Problem: Internal builds are often incomplete and late
Homegrown solutions are usually delivered late, and with fewer features than expected or promised.
Form.com: Our project management and professional services teams use the Form.com 80/20 Methodology to ensure all projects are on time, on-budget, and packed with more features and utilities than you knew you needed.
Problem: Building may cost more than you think
Most internal solutions spend their support and maintenance budgets fixing post-launch bugs. Ongoing innovation requires time, money,and resources.
At Form.com, we’re always upfront with pricing for our annual subscriptions and professional services, so you’ll know what to expect from day one.
Form.com: Ongoing innovation and extensibility is limited
Homegrown solutions are quickly outdated, and can’t be leveraged across multiple departments. Extending and innovating will cost additional time, money, and resources.
Form.com subscribers are always upgraded to the latest version of our software at no additional cost. Your solution will also be extensible to other departments, so you won’thave to pay for a new project or start from scratch.

Got questions? We can help!

Form.com is a flexible platform designed to take time-consuming procedures done on paper and spreadsheets and turn them into user-friendly forms. Our mobile and offline app allows you to access and complete forms from anywhere, even while offline, and our team of exprerts will work with you every step of the way to create your ideal solution.


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