The Buy-vs-Build Shift (part 4)

7 January 2013

After discussing issues with building software in part 1 and issues with buying software in parts 2 and 3, this concluding post of the series considers two approaches for organisations to deal with the buys build shift.

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The Buy-vs-Build Shift (part 2 and 3)

12 November 2012

In part 1 of this series I discussed traditional reasons people have for buying software, which turned out mostly to be based on perceived or real issues with building software. In this post, which contains part 2 and 3, I discuss issues with buying software.

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Travelcard Invader

28 October 2012

When I lived in London I used public transport a lot. Who doesn’t? But for some reason, which I don’t remember now, I started keeping my used travelcards in a box. I also asked Martina, my partner, for hers. As you can imagine, over the years we ended up with quite a collection. In fact, we had to buy travelcards until we moved to Clerkenwell late in 2006 because the station in Hackney, where we had lived before, didn’t have Oyster card readers.

Stumbling across the box when we left London I had an idea: If there’s post-it art, why not make travelcard art? I took a few years but now I’ve finally done it. The Travelcard Invader has arrived.

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Building another Hackintosh

23 September 2012

Three years ago, unhappy with Apple’s hardware lineup, I decided to dip my toes into the Hackintosh world. It was a resounding success and the machine I built back then has served me well. So, last month, with Intel’s Ivy Bridge and Apple’s Mountain Lion out, I decided to build another Hackintosh. I have written up my experience in this article.

The Buy-vs-Build Shift (part 1)

7 September 2012

When a new IT solution is needed in an enterprise, maybe because the business is changing or maybe because an existing manual process should be automated, the people who are in charge of implementing the solution usually quickly get to the question: should we build the solution or should we buy a package? For a long time the accepted wisdom has been to always buy when possible and only build when no suitable packaged solution exists in the market.

In this article series, which will eventually be published in this book, I want to explore the reasons behind the existing preference for buying and, more importantly, I want to challenge the accepted wisdom and explain why I believe that the changes that have occurred in software development over the last decade have shifted the answer to the buy-or-build question away from buy and more towards build. I am not going as far as suggesting that build should be the new default but I think building software should be considered more often and it should be considered even when a suitable package exists.

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