Should I build my tech myself, buy off-the-shelf, or outsource?

By Hassan Khalid

software development solutions

Should I build my tech myself, buy off-the-shelf, or outsource?

The decision to build, buy, or outsource software development solutions is a complex and important one. Both start-ups and established businesses find themselves at this tricky crossroads – it’s essential to take the time to weigh up your options.

As a start-up, you may be considering both your short and long-term future when making this decision. As a business, you may have to go back to the drawing board as your current software solution is unable to integrate with new operations or features. The software you bought and utilised successfully in the past might now be showing major cracks under the pressure, and preventing your business from scaling.

So it begs the question: do you make a bespoke option? Either developed by you or outsourced to someone else. You could also stick with off-the-shelf? Here are the pros and cons of your software development options.

Off-the-shelf software

Due to limited budgets, ready-made software solutions are the most logical decision for small businesses. Perhaps bespoke technology is not required for your model or market and wouldn’t give you any technical advantage. If you have simple functions that don’t need a great deal of integration, this option could work in your favour.

If you don’t have a strong enough software development team or the resources to outsource, a canned software solution could be used as a stepping stone until this is possible. At this point, it becomes a balancing act. You must scale your business to generate enough resources to deliver your companies software needs but still ensure that your current shrink-wrapped solution can handle operations.

Building in-house custom software

With this option, upfront costs are no doubt the most expensive. Considering your current financial situations, this simply may not be feasible. It also requires dedication to develop – costing your organisation time, energy, and resources. If you’re tight for time and don’t specialise in technology, hiring a team to build a quick ready-made solution is likely to end in dissatisfaction. Resources, time, and training are essential to creating a dream software development team. Costs can get out of hand, and your area may not have the talent pool for what you need to develop. You’ll also need to stay fluid, but it can be difficult to scale up or down quickly.

However, further down the road, the pay off can be exceptional. For businesses that want to scale, change and challenges are inevitable. The flexibility of an in-house development team and custom-built software allows you to adapt to the problems thrown your way. Integration can be made seamless between separate software tasks, and efficiency will not be compromised.


With outsourcing, you don’t need to worry about geographical talent pools as you have access to talent all over the world.

Unless you’re experienced in technology development, an outsourced service can guide you along the long road of bespoke software solutions.

Service providers will likely sum up the total cost of the project and split it into monthly bills. This gives you greater control over costs and no hidden surprises. In-house development can be full of them – you may need to purchase hardware or software tools for your team or hire new members of staff entirely. But there are always limitations with every option. Your outsourced company may be working in a different time zone. Or maybe there is a language barrier between the two parties and communication is difficult.

With software development solutions, it all comes down to you. You know your situation better than anyone else, and only you can say which solution is best. Weigh up your options, assess your finances, and, no matter which way you go, make sure you put your trust in a reputable, experienced team.

At Createk, we create safe, easy-to-use, bespoke software that improves your business’s productivity from day one. Secure, stable, and supported every step of the way. If you’re interested in finding out more, please visit our Web Application Development Outsourcing page. Or get in touch to see how Createk can help you with your application development.

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