March 27, 2017
In order to focus on core activities, organisations often know very well which tasks they have to do themselves or can outsource. But as soon as it comes to the software that supports the same core business, there is strikingly less straightforward thinking about it. My advice? For that core functionality, consider ownership and ownership and keep control of your business-critical software.
Organisations nowadays take it for granted to outsource peripheral activities. You will of course continue to do the core activity(s) yourself. Because you do not give up the foundation of your existence. You want to remain in charge of that yourself. Nevertheless, this way of thinking is often abandoned in the case of software for core activities. In that case, we regularly opt for an outsourced (standard) solution. While the software is becoming increasingly important for the success with which core activities are carried out.
Keep control of business-critical software
As a developer of Internet technology based software, we regularly see the problems of organizations that previously relinquished control of their business critical software. We strongly advise you to remain in charge of this yourself. That software should be owned (not rented or licensed) and you should be able to develop and manage it yourself (or have it developed). Then you are not at the mercy of an external party for your core business. And then you can continue to develop the software optimally, attuned to the course and needs of your organisation. After all, you know best what your customers need and how you want to deliver it.
Outsourcing software peripherals
For peripheral activities (such as your bookkeeping) it is often a good choice to let go of ownership and ownership. Standard software can also be suitable for this. But not for your core business. If, for example, we develop an editorial system for a large news site, the editors are the capital of that organisation. They must be able to function as well as possible. That’s why you want to keep a grip on what is being developed. Don’t settle for computer says no or ‘maybe in the next release’.
Choose the right mix
Governments in particular have regularly appeared in the news in recent years because ICT projects failed completely or became a financial debacle. Dependence on a (software) supplier was often an important factor. In order to keep control, some (semi)governments now want to build everything themselves. That is not necessary. Choose for ‘customization where it should be done’ and ‘standard where it can be done’. And base that mix on your own core functionality (see my previous blog about this). That’s my advice.
Make sure that you remain in charge of your business critical software. So that you can develop that software yourself (or have it developed) and control the conditions of use yourself. You can always call in external expertise to develop, improve or expand your software. But in that case it will be based on your new business requirements. In this way you maintain grip, flexibility and absolute focus on your own core business.