As a CEO or C-suite executive, making the decision between building a student information system from scratch or buying one from an industry expert can have significant implications for your college.
On the one hand, building a student information system from scratch requires time and resources, and sometimes budgets are difficult to forecast accurately. Expenses can quickly add up, and that can be a concern for administrators.
On the other hand, buying a student information system can have some distinct advantages. All costs are upfront, meaning you can plan accordingly and there is less administration required. Plus, the system is available immediately, without waiting for a system to be built from scratch.
There’s no doubt that for many colleges, the advantages of buying a student information system outweigh the cons of building one. With a pre-built solution, executives can access services, support and resources, and have access to a feature-rich system that is easy to integrate and has been influenced by industry leaders and verticals. Additionally, it will take up less of the development team's time, meaning more resources can be focused on the institution's core business.
So which option is best? Let’s consider the pros and cons of building and buying a student information system to help you make the best decision for your institution.
1. Is Your College Willing To Wait?
When it comes to building a student information system, the biggest advantage is that you can tailor the system to perfectly fit the needs of your college. You have control over the design and functionality, and you have the flexibility to make changes and improvements as needed.
However, building a student information system from the ground up comes with its own set of challenges. It requires a substantial investment in time and resources, and it can be difficult to predict the total cost accurately. Plus, it can take months or even years to complete, which can be a problem for many colleges that need a system up and running quickly.
2. Consider Your College Budget
Buying a student information system has its own set of advantages. All costs are upfront and predictable, meaning you can plan your budget accordingly. The system is ready to go right away, so you don’t have to wait months or even years to get up and running. Plus, you don’t need to invest in a team of developers, so you can save money on personnel costs.
3. Support And Maintenance
Building an information system requires ongoing internal support and maintenance, and if done incorrectly, can lead to costly errors and downtime. On the other hand, buying an industry-standard system from an expert provider gives you the assurance that the system will work optimally at all times, as it is maintained by a team of experts.
Overall, when deciding whether to build or buy a student information system, there are several factors to consider. The cost of building the system from scratch will likely be greater than buying one from an industry expert, but it is important to consider the long-term implications of both options. Building a system from scratch requires extensive development and ongoing maintenance, which can be expensive and time-consuming. It also requires extensive knowledge of the college’s data infrastructure and programming languages, as well as the ability to troubleshoot any issues that may arise.
Should You Build or Buy Your Student Information System?
Ultimately, the decision to build or buy a student information system will depend on your specific needs and the resources available. It is worth considering the cost, time, and resources associated with each option, and weighing up which one is more suitable for your institution.
For executives who need a reliable and feature-rich system and don't have the resources to build one from scratch, buying a system may be the best option since doing so grants access to services, support and resources, as well as an easy integration process. Furthermore, the roadmap of the system is typically influenced by industry leaders and verticals, giving you the security of knowing that the system is built by proven experts.