by John Toepfer
For most software development projects, both internal and externally sourced, success is not a binary equation. There are often compromises or partial satisfaction in either scenario. At the end of the day, the question becomes, how large were the compromises and, taken as a whole, do they equate to a failure of the project?
Over my 25 year career in delivering software solutions to major corporations, I’ve seen both commercial solutions and internal development efforts that have struggled. My observation, however, is that commercial solutions are much more likely to succeed in the end and to represent the smart and sustainable path. It’s amazing how often I watch internal development initiatives that either never get off the ground or fail in some crucial way. In either case, the remedy is to write off that investment and start over shopping for a commercial solution.
As you’re reading, you might argue that my evaluation is biased based on the fact that I own and operate a technology firm. However, if success or failure of an internal technology development effort is measured against the same criteria as a vendor solution, then bias is not a factor. Continue reading