Packaged Maintenance Management Software versus In-House Development, Part 5: Make the Right Choice for You


Wow, we’ve covered a lot of ground in this blog series.

As we wrap up the debate between packaged software and in-house development, I’d like to leave you with a simple checklist to help you make the right decision for your organization.

Maintenance Software Checklist

Here are the major factors to consider:

  • Budget: Let’s face it, we all have a budget. In this case, your budget isn’t just the software, but also the training, updates, and maintenance of that software. In general, packaged solutions are less expensive, particularly when you consider the need for continuous support and upgrades.
  • Technical Expertise: In-house development projects take specific skills. It’s unlikely that you have an experienced maintenance software programmer on staff. Plus, your IT team already has a full plate, and these projects take time away from other important tasks. Weigh those considerations carefully.
  • Support: Who is going to help your users learn to use it? Who’s going to update the software as your needs change or your operating system gets upgraded? You need resources to make sure the software gets used, and it gets used right. Otherwise, you won’t reap the benefits you are trying to achieve.
  • Time: How much time do you have? Today’s packaged maintenance software has a short implementation timeline. In-house development usually takes more time than you realize as your IT folks work around other tasks and priorities.
  • Longevity: Modern maintenance software focuses on what maintenance teams need now, and what they’ll need later as their needs change and grow. Plus, packaged maintenance software incorporates the field’s best practices, which you can use to improve your maintenance operations.

What’s the Next Step?

Just like any other business decision, you need to do your due diligence to make the right choice for your organization. But make sure you have up-to-date information about both packaged maintenance software and in-house development—not just assumptions or perceptions.

We have many clients who started down the path of in-house development only to backtrack and purchase packaged maintenance software when they run into the issues outlined above. I often feel if they just did a little more research, they could have saved themselves a lot of time and money.

The main thing they’ve discovered? Packaged maintenance software offers a great deal of value for their money, and vendors provide all the support and updating they need—without the hassle of managing such a project themselves.

What’s been your experience with packaged maintenance software and in-house development? Leave a comment below or contact me directly. I’d like to hear your perspective.