Investing in IT: Why Cheapest Isn't always the Best Option

Decided To Build Instead Of Buy?

Selecting the right company to develop your software, app or website, or address other IT needs can be stressful. We’ve all heard horror stories about what happens when you pick the wrong one – buggy systems, half completed programs, and projects that doubled in cost as well as delivered 8 months after the due date. The challenge is that the one that looks great on paper isn’t necessarily the best option, so how do you choose?

Apples to Apples Test

What’s even included?

apples-to-apples

The process starts by understanding what is and isn’t included in the proposals you receive. Begin by making a comparison chart of primary aspects such as price, delivery time frame, and features so you can truly compare apples to apples. Look for proposals that spell out exactly what they promise, rather than ones that make overbroad or vague statements. Companies that are not detailed about what is included in the contract, such as hours of training, number of warranty, change order, on-going costs, etc., will not deliver what you think they promised.

 

You Get What You Pay For

What are you getting?

 

rocket-ship

 

It comes down to three basic scenarios

  • Hide behind the check: Those who don’t know what they’re doing and hope you don’t figure that out until after the check as cleared.
  • Hammer and nail: The ones with a template who will contort your needs to fit their system.
  • Rocketship vs flying a kite: Experts who know what they are doing and will build a system that meets your current and anticipated needs.

This is where the adage ‘you get what you pay for’ comes into play. You don’t want to overpay for a job, but if you take a chance on the least expensive option, solely on price , you will probably end up paying someone else to redo the work later.

 

Crickets Chirping Test

Is your developer going to be there after the project?

crickets-chirping-test

 You know what you need right now, but do you know what you will need in one, three or five years down the road? Probably not, and that’s okay, so keep this in mind when you hire your developer. Make sure they build capabilities into your system so it can be modified later to meet your future needs. Doing this will cost a bit more, but saves you the expense of buying a brand new system in three years.

 

Maintenance Costs

Changing the oil

software-maintenance 

Whether it’s fixing the roof or cleaning the gutters, no one wants to pay for maintenance but you need to protect your investment. This is especially true with your software and data systems, which are critical to keeping your business up and running. Hire a company that maintains their clients’ systems because they are able to fix issues before they become problems and know how to protect against external threats. Remember, a broken or compromised software system will cost you in productivity, lost sales, and reputation, so maintaining it just makes sense.

 

Now What?

 How do you make the right choice?

return-on-investment
 

Quality IT services come with a price, so before you panic and choose the lowest priced option take a deep breath and consider all the facts. You may find it helpful to conduct a return on investment (ROI) analysis that will show you how much you money you will save by using this new system. If the savings over time are more than the cost, the system is a good investment.

At Black Line Consulting we value our clients and create long-term relations that allow us to support their ongoing success. We deliver what we promise, when we promise, and at the price we agreed upon, so there are no surprises or hidden costs. Contact us to learn how we can serve you, and visit our project portfolio.

 

by Jessica Mazany | November 30, 2017 |

Written by Jessica Mazany

Jessica Mazany

Jessica is the Marketing Manager at Black Line, specializing in inbound marketing. She also loves dogs, craft beer, and mint chocolate chip ice cream.

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