Tuesday, October 04, 2011


A CIOs perspective on Buy vs Build...

Many enterprise architects have embraced the notion that it is prudent to buy software over building it from scratch, however there are times where EA should hold the opposite opinion...

In my travels, many of the largest P&C insurance carriers are revisiting their decisions in buying policy administration systems and are seriously considering building replacements using modern technologies with people who are in-house. This leads me to conclude that enterprise architecture teams need to wake up to not just the financial considerations behind a decision but to understand IT's role in the business ecosystem and to make decisions within this context.

Many of the P&C carriers feel that vended solutions are in many ways superior to those that could be built in-house. They believe the expertise provided by vendors in system design, implementation and requirements formulation is vastly more efficient and of higher quality than their in-house teams could ever dream of producing. While higher quality is important, they may have concluded that there are considerations that are more important.

In-house solutions allow P&C carriers to attract and retain good IT staff. If everything is outsourced and the in-house role of IT is focused on maintenance then good people may not wish to stay. In other words, good enterprise architects and smart enterprise architecture teams are finally understanding the principles behind Agility. People then process then tools in that order...

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