The Perils of Building Your Own Software

The Perils of Building Your Own Software

Perils of Building Your Own Software Today’s Posts understand the importance of digital transformation, but

Perils of Building Your Own Software

Today’s Posts understand the importance of digital transformation, but they are unsure where to start. 

For digital transformation to be successful, Posts need to focus on the customer experience. This means offering solutions that meet their customers’ needs around cross-border deliveries, parcel pick-ups, digital-first engagement, and more. 

Recognizing the need for a customer engagement platform is only half the battle. The greater challenge is figuring out how to bring this platform and the right applications to life. This presents a critical question for Posts:

Should posts build or buy their customer engagement platform?

Notably, building and buying both have their pros and cons:


Build Buy
Pros ●      Customization

●      Full control & visibility

●      Security, stability, & scalability

●      Cost-effectiveness

●      Quicker implementation

●      Industry expertise

Cons ●      Long time commitment

●      Expensive cost

●      Requirement for a vendor

●      Perceived lack of customization options

Table: Pros and cons of either building or buying your Posts’ enterprise system


The problem with building your own solution

If you want to build a solution from the ground up, you’ll need to marshal your internal resources. In theory, building a customer engagement platform gives you more control for customization. In reality, the competing goals of speed and quality limit your ability to get creative. Plus, you’re reinventing the wheel when there’s existing industry knowledge and best practices to access.

The reality is, software development is an especially onerous process. First, a Post must have the internal talent to develop its customer engagement platform. Even if they chose to outsource part of the work to an external software development agency, they need the internal project management expertise to keep the effort on track. 

The quality of project management can make or break the success of the development. Qualified and experienced project managers, who understand the technical side, must:

  • Conduct a thorough needs assessment to ensure the final result meets business needs
  • Oversee planning, architecture design, and development, and
  • Oversee software testing to ensure the system’s reliability and stability

Moreover, general software development professionals may have the technical expertise to build a functional product, but not the domain experience to ensure the final product accounts for all the postal industry’s idiosyncrasies. 

The Pros of Buying Far Outweigh the Cons

In truth, the pros of buying a solution outweigh the cons. A vendor-provided solution helps Posts execute on their digital transformation strategy faster. A vendor can also bring industry expertise acquired from years of working with other Posts to set up their point of sale or customer engagement system. 

Whichever solution you choose to go with – whether it’s to buy or build – it’s important to end up with a solution that’s:

●     Secure: Posts need to protect themselves from cyberattacks, and they need either in-house expertise or a vendor. 

●     Stable: Posts need to keep their systems up and running, even during exceptional circumstances like bad weather conditions, and ensure they have the right redundancies.

●     Scalable: Posts need a system – either cloud-based or on-premise, built with an open architecture – that allows them to grow and adapt to market changes.

As digital transformation becomes a business imperative, Posts must scale up their capabilities – fast. They need the applications to offer an omnichannel experience, so customers can access service via kiosks, third-party retailers, and through mobile applications. They also need a stable, scalable system that can process transactions across a wide network and do so in a secure way.



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