Friday, October 24, 2008


Enterprise Architecture Confusion regarding Buy vs Build...

There are several ways that folks get it twisted when discussing buy vs build...

Much of the waste within IT is attributable to worst practices and indoctrination coming from process weenies who love CMMi and outsourcing yet avoid discussing when is it stupid for us to buy things.

Let's start by acknowledging that an enterprise should only buy a product only when it decreases risk. If you don't understand how the product works, or if you don't believe claims about its capabilities, then don't buy it until those issues are settled.

Likewise, buy the simplest, cheapest product that meets your needs. Don't buy expensive products with lots of features you don't need, even if you think those features might be useful someday. We sometimes get excited by Gartner Magic Quadrants and spend more money than we should. In fact, an enterprise may want to consider avoiding Gartner top quadrant products as they have a higher TCO than ones that aren't leaders.

More importantly, you need to remix your thinking and acknowledge that open source belongs in the buy side mentality. While you can avoid the arduous mind numbing negotiations around seat-based licensing, you can focus on getting something deployed in production that meets the business need a lot faster. Of course, you should consider buying support not just from the vendor itself but also in terms of contributing back to the community...

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