Business Technology

Homegrown Solutions: Coming back?

I had a quick post over at System Volume. Feel free to read it. Not a lot of added commentary over there, but I think it is an interesting article in light of the economic realities of today.

The past decade brought about a swath of IT outsourcing not just to other countries, but to other vendors. What if there would be pushback against this, a culture shift that aims to bring back in-house IT and development expertise in order to create more nimble companies who can tailor their offerings to the needs of the company? Would this lead to an increase in higher-paying IT jobs here, or would it have the opposite effect by creating, at first, a glut of new positions, leading to a glut of new candidates which would then weaken the overall market?

It is also interesting to think about what this could mean for open source. What if instead of spending money on proprietary vendor solutions, a company would hire a developer and then give back to the open source community those parts which are not business critical? Does centralization always mean higher efficiency?

Lots of questions and I have no answers. It is fun to think about, though.

2 replies on “Homegrown Solutions: Coming back?”

There’s such an aversion to homegrown solutions because of this imagined “high cost to pay for developers”, especially when it comes to open source. At least in the public sector it seems we can’t get out of the mindset that its not good unless someone else bought it too. I’ve been advocating the build-our-own approach for a long time now. There are so many ways to hire developers these days.

No, centralization does not always mean higher efficiency. It does mean opportunity for the vendor though! It all depends on use case and what fits the needs. Business decision makers need to learn that IT is a tool and you need to fit the tools to the job. You can use that crescent wrench as a hammer, but its just not going to do the job as well as a cheap hammer and you’re going to end up wrecking an expensive wrench in the process.

You even have different kinds of hammers for different kinds of jobs. You bring up all of the salient points in this ongoing debate, and there are definitely times when vendors make a lot of sense (I’m looking at you, Google Apps for Education). However, I think that a lot of value could be created (and consumed) by hiring a developer and then giving them time to give back to open source as well.

I like this discussion.

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