Need immediate assistance? Text "hello" to +1 218.296.7903

Buy versus Build

Considerations when buying, building, or maintaining transportation scheduling software

Building a software program is akin to constructing a tower with bricks. Each brick must be precisely placed on top of one another to ensure stability and success. Alan Cooper, the creator of a popular computer language, illustrated this analogy by emphasizing the importance of precision. Any deviation in brick placement can cause the tower to wobble, topple, and fall. Choosing the right software foundation is paramount for transportation organizations. Whether you are considering developing your own ride-scheduling software or already have one in place, it is crucial to avoid the “house of cards” phenomenon by addressing key considerations.

One important aspect to contemplate is how to maintain the system if a key software engineer or IT person leaves. Ensuring the longevity and reliability of your software requires contingency plans and proper documentation. Additionally, you should assess how easily new features and services can be added to adapt to evolving business needs. Flexibility and scalability are vital to keep up with the dynamic transportation landscape.

System uptime is another critical consideration. Aim for a guaranteed uptime of 99.99% to minimize disruptions and ensure smooth operations. Implementing robust backup and disaster recovery measures will help safeguard against potential downtime and data loss.

Transportation organizations handle sensitive data, including personal and confidential information. Therefore, ensuring data security and compliance with regulations like HIPAA is paramount. Implementing measures to protect client confidentiality, maintain data integrity, and prevent unauthorized access should be a top priority.Lastly, the ever-increasing risk of cyber-attacks necessitates a comprehensive security strategy. Investing in measures such as encryption, intrusion detection systems, and regular security audits will help safeguard your software and protect against potential threats.

When faced with the “build vs. buy” decision, it’s essential to carefully evaluate the benefits and drawbacks of each approach. Buying off-the-shelf software can save time, money, and mitigate risks. Leveraging external expertise allows your internal team to focus on their core competencies while relying on established industry best practices embedded in the software.

Saving time is crucial, as your organization’s expertise lies in managing and delivering transportation services rather than software development. By utilizing existing solutions, you can avoid reinventing the wheel and allocate resources more efficiently. Analyzing the total cost of ownership is also vital. Factoring in labor costs for both initial development and long-term maintenance, as well as comparing alternative approaches, can help make an informed decision. Off-the-shelf technologies often provide cost-effective options, enabling you to obtain multiple proposals and compare features and costs over a specified time frame.

Moreover, adopting an established software solution reduces risk. You can benefit from industry best practices and leverage the expertise of software vendors who have already coded these practices into their products. This allows your organization to focus on operational excellence rather than reinventing standard processes.

While building software can be exciting, it’s crucial to consider long-term costs, time investments, and expertise required. Carefully evaluate all options and weigh the benefits of off-the-shelf solutions against the allure of building something from scratch. Just like nurturing a fruit tree, the initial planting may be quick, but ongoing maintenance and investment of time are necessary to reap the rewards of a fruitful software system.

By making informed decisions and considering these important factors, transportation organizations can ensure they have robust, efficient, and reliable scheduling software that meets their unique needs.


Email us below or talk to one of your experts.