I have been selling tour booking software to travel companies for the last ten years and have seen many customers who have decided to go for an in-house-built solution. Sooner or later, though, they all end up switching to commercial software.
We have also learned this the hard way while developing internal software for project management. We thought we would have some advantages of an in-house built solution, but in the end, they all became disadvantages. We knew it would not be easy when we started, but as time passed, we realized it was even more complicated than we thought.
Are you considering what direction to take? This article might be helpful.
Assumption 1: In House Tour Booking Software Is Tailored to Your Business Processes
As your company grows, the processes will also change and improve; your in-house software will have to support this. On the other hand, commercial tour booking software products are already used by bigger travel companies, and they are ready to support your business growth.
Assumption 2: An Internal IT Team Will Understand the Processes Better
This can’t be considered an advantage because the main work lies on the team that will do the specification, not on the team developing the tour booking software. The most important thing is to document your processes well. If that is the case, there is no difference between ordering the tour booking software from your internal IT team or ordering it from any other team.
Assumption 3: It Will Be Our Advantage Over Other Competitors
As you are focused on your core business, you will not have time to follow the trends and miss out on some innovations and new features.
Assumption 4: It Is Great To Own the Source Code
If you are afraid of what will happen if your tour booking software vendor goes bankrupt and you have to spend more money on buying new software, don’t worry. It will still cost you less than owning an in-house solution.
Assumption 5: It Will Be Cheaper
Developing software solutions contains many hidden traps that can’t be seen when planning software development.
The expenses seem lower at the start of the project, but as it goes on, you will figure out that it still needs some essential things. The total expenses will grow rapidly and will likely exceed the price of commercial tour booking software several times.
There are also some well-known disadvantages and facts of in-house software development.
Fact 1: It Is More Time Consuming
As commercial tour booking software is not 100% fitted for your company, implementing and customizing fully will probably take some time. On the other hand, you will need years to develop your in-house software, and it will take several more for it to reach the current level of commercial software.
You must not forget that while the in-house solution is being built, your company will keep experiencing the same problems you have now. This also means lower staff productivity and higher operational expenses.
Fact 2: It Requires a Big IT Team
Among the developers in your IT team, you also need someone highly experienced with developing software from scratch, which is a challenging hire, especially if IT is not your core business.
Your employees will have to get some help on how to use the software or solve some issues, so you may hire someone to support your employees, bringing even more staff into your team.
Fact 3: It Lacks Software Implementation Expertise
When you buy commercial tour booking software, the implementation will probably be done by well-experienced professionals trained for this, which is a challenging job. Not having such a person increases the chance of the implementation failing.
Fact 4: It Lacks Functionalities
Commercial software solutions are usually developed for the needs of many different customers, so they support other business processes. This means they typically have more features that would benefit your company, even some that you previously didn’t think of.
So, What Should You Do?
Suppose you already have an internal IT team. In that case, we suggest you use it to make a good specification of your business processes and make them write a detailed specification of the customizations that the commercial software needs to have. If possible, use your team to integrate the commercial software product with any other systems you have, like accounting, website, CRM, etc…
Still not convinced? Get to know Lemax Software by requesting a demo!