8 Reasons to Buy, Not Build, a Document Processing Platform

by Jesse Spencer | July 31, 2018

Intelligently capturing and processing document data from multiple sources is critical to modern organizations. Complex problem solving, innovation, and compliance all require an immense amount of accurate data. With a long list of requirements and easy access to in-house, freelance, and remote developers, many organizations struggle with whether they should build their own software for processing documents or if they should buy an off-the-shelf solution.

While building a document processing solution is achievable, organizations that choose this option may be in for more than they bargained for.

Here are eight reasons why organizations consider building a document processing solution - and why buying provides better value.

  1. It's cheaper to build in-house than pay licensing.
  2. We need flexibility to integrate with our other systems.
  3. Our processes are too complex for an off-the-shelf product.
  4. Off-the-shelf products don't have the look and feel our users need.
  5. We're already capturing and storing documents electronically.
  6. We don't want to be tied to a vendor.
  7. We have brilliant developers on staff already.
  8. Off-the-shelf products can't meet our requirements list. 

Build Myth #1:

It's Cheaper to Build Software In-House than to pay Licensing

Although avoiding annual licensing fees makes sense, these fees are small in comparison to what it costs to build software. Building means committing to the entire software lifecycle which includes planning, implementing, testing, documenting, deploying, maintaining, and updating.

Build Myth #2:

We Need Flexibility to Integrate with our Other Systems

Sharing data between systems is critical. APIs offer a tempting solution, but the hidden cost of supporting API-based integrations is significantly high. Document processing software dependent on APIs requires a custom-built framework for every connection. Each additional connection adds complexity, ultimately creating a fragile, and unstable platform.

Build Myth #3:

Our Processes are too Complex for an Off-The-Shelf Product

Do your processes include multiple departments, people, vendors, and workflows? Or thousands of unique invoices, or millions of pages of legal documents? If so, buying software could be a perfect solution for your organization. 

Build Myth #4:

Off-The-Shelf Products don’t have the Look and Feel our Users Need

Some software includes poorly designed or unintuitive user interfaces that seems to contribute to lower user adoption rates. However, it's our experience that when interfaces are correctly executed, user adoption rates are very high. In addition, developing software in-house in order to minimize the impact of change hinder the really great innovations.

Build Myth #5:

We’re Already Capturing and Storing Documents Electronically

Do you have the ability to search all of the contents in your captured documents, or intelligently sort, and index them? Your data is valuable and provides cost-saving and revenue-generating benefits when fully integrated within line of business systems.

Build Myth #6:

We Don’t Want to be Tied to a Vendor

Some software vendors seduce organizations into an upward curve of ever-increasing costs. And getting out is a tough and stressful process. If you've ever been lured into a solution like this, you’ve probably sworn to never go back.

Build Myth #7:

We have Brilliant Developers on Staff Already

When a developer builds new software from the ground up, the first experience is the worst experience. You’re confident in your team’s ability. However, completing a document capture project is very expensive, difficult to manage, and often takes much longer than expected.

Build Myth #8:

Off-The-Shelf Software Can’t Meet our Specific Requirements

In terms of cost effectiveness, a set of requirements does not always ensure that building software is more practical than purchasing. Additionally, in some cases, requirements lists can include items that no software will satisfy. This includes custom solutions and software purchased for millions of dollars.

Increase Your Competitive Advantage

Impact your organization by choosing a document processing solution that strengthens your competitive advantage and leverages your capabilities to help you accomplish more.



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