On the Ibuildings techPortal site Stefan Koopmanschap has written up some thoughts on one of the eternal struggles development shops face - whether to buy or build the software they need (either for themselves or their clients).
One of the biggest struggles in any software development company is "Buy vs. Build". How do you strike a balance between writing custom software and purchasing off-the-shelf solutions. This is something that is very hard and everyone gets it wrong every once in a while. In this article we will explore the way that Ibuildings approaches this issue, in the hopes that it helps others in getting it right more often.
He talks about considerations made on both sides - how flexible is the application, what is on-hand that could be adapted - and how the base product they might have purchased can act as a based to work from (like a content management system). There's no overall recommendation, though - too much of the decision depends on what's needed at the time and the capabilities of the technical staff employed.