Lars Ørhøj Lauridsen 11/3/20 10:59 AM 10 min read

Build versus Buy: Don't Build Your Own Meeting Management Solution

As a CIO, CTO, or an IT project manager, balancing your company's immediate needs with its long-term growth is paramount to success. But it is also one of the business's most significant challenges.

Complicated questions arise, such as whether you should invest aggressively in long-term initiatives or take a less expensive and more conservative approach. And these questions have not become easier considering the consequences of Covid-19.

A standard piece of this puzzle is the "build versus buy" question that many companies face when addressing their software needs. Does a cloud-based solution address your company's unique needs, or do you need a customized solution designed for your organization?

We often see IT decision-makers wrestle with this choice in finding a solution for managing their workplace. A solution that takes care of meeting room bookings or understands workplace utilization.

They consider the pros and cons as they attempt to determine which route is most cost-effective and present the best solution for the business.

It is difficult to estimate the long-term consequences of this decision, leaving employees struggling to deal with the original choices.

Technological innovation is accelerating exponentially, making it difficult for the internal IT group to cope with this pace of constant change. Just look at the velocity of new features launched in, e.g., Microsoft Azure, Microsoft 365, and the different Microsoft APIs. All that is used to connect everything into a solution that meets the needs.

Companies who choose the road of customized software creation must also maintain and upgrade it indefinitely in the future. This constant upgrading cycle can lead to a considerable drain into internal resources.  

Despite all of this, building the software yourself has frequently won out in this past debate. Still, with the introduction of standardized software as a service solution, the tables have turned. Even global enterprises that have historically invested millions of dollars in internal IT projects migrate to SaaS applications for many types of IT operations.

The better way to meeting management with Outlook and Microsoft 365

Meeting Room Booking: Do you need a customized solution to meet the needs of your business?

The fact is that meeting room booking needs do not dramatically differ between companies. Employees' needs almost always include:

  • finding an available time slot
  • finding a room that fits your needs
  • inviting guests and booking them

That's it.

We often have the feeling that large organizations considering building their meeting management solution to meet specific criteria are doing so out of habit. That is understandable but not always wise.

So: Why try to build your own solution that meeting management specialists have already spent innumerable hours refining, optimizing, and perfecting?

When deciding whether to buy or build, you must consider three key points:

  1. What is the scope of the problem you are addressing, and how complex does your solution need to be?
  2. Do your organization currently have (or can you hire) experts capable of building, maintaining, and supporting the solution? Not only now, but also as you advance?
  3. Is using the software critical to your business operations and mission?

Our best assumption is that you end at this conclusion when answering these three questions: No, you shouldn't build your own solution. Instead, invest in a standardized SaaS solution to avoid struggling with finding the resources to develop your own in-house, disconnected, and disjointed solution.

Five reasons why you should buy a SaaS meeting management solution for your Outlook and Microsoft 365 environment, not build one


1. You value managed service solutions

There is great value in moving away from running Exchange and other critical solutions on-premise in your environment and migrating into the cloud. Even Microsoft wants you to. Using a managed service solution (like AskCody) to meet meeting management needs is consistent with your decision to move away from on-premise restrictions. 

Perhaps you've already moved to Microsoft 365 or Azure AD and are using other cloud services to optimize the time spent on essential things. Continue down that road with a meeting management solution that works seamlessly together with the rest of your cloud solutions.

2. You have a limited budget

The costs of building your own custom software may be one of the first and most logical reasons for a business to avoid choosing this option. SaaS solutions usually are cheaper and can make financial sense for a company with a smaller budget, especially when you add maintenance and compatibility costs to the solution's lifetime.

3. Avoiding the on-going responsibility of home-built solution vs. out-of-the-box solution  

Your team has invested meaningful hours in coding the SharePoint solution, a web-based portal, or even a mobile app. The completed specification was even probably state-of-the-art. Now, when your team is using 11 different versions of an Android device, not so much.  

There will always be regular updates and maintenance required any time changes occur to your network. Or one of your users has an issue when looking to the future. Your team will have to step away from real, mission-critical tasks and to update your home-built solution. Even more complications and frustrations arise when those responsible for that solution switch positions or leave the company.

4. You have a lack of technical proficiency and time

If you do not have a software team with the skills to build this custom software, it is wise to pass on the opportunity. At least until you do have such a team in place. If you cannot keep your software developers accountable for such a project, it will be impossible to create a state-of-the-art product.

Building proprietary software takes a great deal of time to complete successfully. Businesses that do not have the time or resources available should not immediately pursue it. We have seen this end with disastrous results.

 5. AskCody's Outlook/Microsoft 365 add-in would eliminate the disjointed experience of home-built or other third-party solutions

AskCody's complete meeting management add-in would provide full room finding capabilities for end-users directly within Outlook and Microsoft 365. The experience is seamless. This stands in opposition to end-users forced to navigate to a third-party solution outside of their mailbox every time they book a meeting. Forget about thinking about updates, maintenance, or compatibility ever again.

As you can see, we do not consider "build versus buy" to be much of a decision at all. At AskCody, we have perfected the meeting management process and have already anticipated your employees' needs.

Please leave it to us. We will make sure today is a great day for meetings!

The better way to meeting management with Outlook and Microsoft 365

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Lars Ørhøj Lauridsen

Lars is the Marketing Director at AskCody.