Build or Buy? Key Considerations in Implementing Software Usage Analytics

Development teams are challenged to build increasingly competitive products, but they must overcome difficult tradeoffs to do so. They must prioritize a mounting backlog of new feature requests, balance innovation with maintenance, manage growing technical debt, improve quality and usability, accelerate delivery, and reduce cost — all at the same time.

Given limited resources, developers must optimize their investments to reflect true customer needs — while also anticipating customers’ emerging requirements. Suboptimal product roadmap decisions can be disastrous.

To get this information, they are increasingly turning to software usage analytics solutions that:

  • Instrument software applications to capture meaningful data about how customers and prospects are using them
  • Help analyze engagement data to gain actionable insights on how to prioritize product development to deliver better products, increase customer adoption and retention, and grow sales

As developers contemplate usage analytics, one early question they often face is: should we build or buy? This guide sheds light on this decision from the standpoint of the development and product management teams. It assesses issues ranging from time-to-market to the direct and indirect costs of development and ongoing operation. Finally, it considers an alternative to home-built systems.


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