Since the global pandemic, small and large corporations started putting into place digital transformation strategies to increase productivity, identify risks and automate processes. During this transformation period business analysts spent hundreds or hours gathering and compiling business requirements to help find the best technology that would meet these requirements and drive efficiencies.

Most organizations will see an Off-The-Shelf-Software technology solution demonstrated to them that meets 50%-70% of their requirements. In some case all requirements can be met depending on automation and integration complexities. Some solutions can be implemented within a budget of R1M and others will require a lot more. Regardless of the budget, a key decision is also pending… do we buy or build?

Buying – means that organizations can buy an Off-The-Shelf-Software(OTSS) solution like a software-as-a-service (SaaS) product hosted by a third party.

Gartner Forecasts Worldwide Public Cloud End-User Spending to Reach Nearly $500 Billion in 2022. In 2023, end-user spending is expected to reach nearly $600 billion.

Building – the custom software application which will be owned by the organization along with its IP. In many cases a team of skilled in-house developers can build a solution that meets all the requirements. This approach will save licensing costs in the long run and enable the organization to grow its own brand.

There are pros to building when requirements and integrations can be easily planned, scoped and delivered. This can be very effective in saving costs when prepacked solutions that come Off-The-Shelf-Software cater only for standard business requirements or specific markets.

On the other hand, searching for the correct solution that meets all your requirements, may not be that hard to find. OTSS solutions are now being packaged to scale according to requirements, security and integrations. Most software providers have opted for a Basic to Enterprise package that also allows addons to be purchased when requirements change which assist organizations to buy according to their requirements and scale when needed.

Building your own


  • More cost-effective for the long-term
  • Allows your company to grow and evolve on your own terms
  • Can be designed to work well with other software
  • Gives a competitive advantage within the industry


  • In house development teams rarely have designs and coding well documented for their own solutions.
  • Ongoing support will be required to maintain the custom solution which in turn can cost more than the OTSS solution.
  • The IP remains within the skill and experience of the in-house developers and when they leave, so does the support for those solutions.
  • It is extremely challenging to predict the resources and timelines required to deliver customized solutions. This frustrates stakeholders as each sprint will always have new complexities introduced a long with delays.
  • Higher upfront costs and unplanned budgets



  • Scalable according to the needs to the organization
  • Backed by widely adopted industries
  • No need to worry about setup or hosting
  • Updates, maintenance and security are included in the subscription fees
  • Faster to deploy on a planned budget


  • May not support in-house custom software integration
  • Could be overkill for the requirements provided
  • Continued costs to maintain subscriptions
  • Less control over the platform and design roadmap

The key takeaway is that there is a market for both scenarios:

If your requirements involve a tool that is tailored to your business requirements and offer more independence in terms of design and features, then building is the way to go. If your needs can be covered by a trusted software provider that has proven industries, the buying is a no-brainer.

The best case-scenario would be finding a solution that covers all business requirements. SaaS solution are usually built for a one-size-fits-all and are industry specific. Before deciding, consider if the OTSS solution is able to plug into your day-to-day business applications and has capabilities to expand to other integration points. This way your integration team can focus on the connecting the OTSS solution to your business applications and maintaining the integration instead of the applications.

Most industries are still finding their feet in this new digital age. Consolidating, Centralizing and standardizing data is proving to be a challenging task. Having technology in place that meets your requirements will not always be adopted successfully by your workforce if there aren’t proper change controls in place. If an OTSS can be sold, implemented, trained and supported by the same vendor, the chances of managing any integrations or changes in the future increase dramatically.

At Co-Operative Computing we understand that organizations have specific needs that can be covered by proven technology. Whether it be centralizing your documents, knowledge and emails, or automating your processes, we can tailor the solution to your requirements through simple configurations and less customization. Our OTSS can help your organization improve productivity, manage risks and increase efficiencies in a small amount of time on a fixed budget. Our solution includes the ability to store documents efficiently, classification of your data, automatic email filing, process and task management, smart searching, contract management, template generation, compliance and management reporting. Reach out to us today to find out more.