You’re Not at Grandma’s Anymore: Some Things are Better Than Homemade

The pungent aroma of garlic and chopped onions mixed with basil, diced tomatoes and a smidge of brown sugar fills the air. Greeting the eyes is an elaborate kitchen operation of pots of bubbling water, mixing bowls and a pungent ingredient-filled skillet stirred every few minutes to perfection by the little old lady in the stained apron.

Yep, this descriptive scene probably hits home for many because, let’s face it, there’s no spaghetti meal quite like the generational hand-me-down homemade recipe by your grandmother.

And that’s great. For your tastebuds.

In business today, with escalating expectations and innovative opportunities abounding, your challenges to achieve growth and long-term success can’t be as easily satisfied. Sad to say, but some things are better than homemade.

Disclaimer: this is not an anti-Grandma take. That’s not what we mean. We love grandmothers, and are very pro anything they’re willing to cook up from scratch. Just wanted to get ahead of that.

Organizations for years have been able to get by with homegrown solutions to handle some of the most important financial processes to a business. Those days are dwindling due to the exponential growth in both the variety and complexity of business models in the modern digital economy.

Back in the day, many businesses viewed home-grown billing systems as the best option to handle specified functions not found in off-the-shelf options, but even in the home-grown heyday, there were limitations that created burdens.

Limitations such as:

  • Slow time to market – Taking on a homemade solution implementation is the software equivalent of a really good swimmer attempting to cross the English Channel while blindfolded. You’ve got skills, but in actuality, you don’t know where you’re going. Any time estimate needs built-in buffers for unforeseen modifications and errors.
  • Inflexibility – No matter how flexible the original programmers designed the homemade solution, they could not be expected to account for all the new delivery and business models developed. And that doesn’t even account for recurring billing changes and exceptions, and currency considerations.
  • High costs – See item #1 and replace the word ‘time’ with ‘money’. In addition to the excessive initial implementation costs, the expense to maintain a homemade solution isn’t cheap either.
  • Capped resources – Those original programmers with the intimate knowledge of that one-of-a-kind, uber critical system upon which your business survival is dependent? That’s a finite resourcing dependency as opposed to a full-fledged software support operation. Ongoing maintenance becomes tricky as those who know the unique system inside and out move on, and the costs to bring in replacement resourcing can be expected to hit astronomical heights. While it’s nice to revel in having a one-of-a-kind system, there’s such a thing as being too unique.
  • No scalability – Though the system designers might think they have a good bead on what the business needs will be five years from now, chances are high they weren’t entirely correct. Not to mention a definitive lack of security, compliance and audit trail tracking capabilities. Oh shoot, we mentioned it.
  • Integration challenges – Specifically designed solutions must work in conjunction with your organization’s other key systems like a finely oiled machine. The only thing is homemade solutions typically ‘don’t play well with others.’ Instead, these systems often create potential data silos to slow down processes, setting the stage for duplicated work and inaccurate data.

And, as the saying goes, “that was then, this is now.” 

Now being our current world of digital transformation where new complexities in billing needs and business model calculations seem to crop up by the minute, addressed by solutions taking advantage of technological advances to handle what wasn’t possible previously.

Kind of makes the idea of going the homemade solution route seem even more quaint and antiquated than before.

Businesses that choose to take on the challenge of building a homegrown financial system typically do so because of a perceived dissatisfaction with the current market offerings. Or at least they did. That should no longer be the case these days, given the right technology in the hands of the right people, able to deliver on those needs. Those who still choose to go down that path can expect a slippery slope of customizations and constant scrambling to keep that system current with growing datasets and business expectations.

That stressful process has essentially been rendered unnecessary by the availability of modern solutions. 

A business hoping to grow, yet tied down to a homemade internal solution, cannot be expected to compete with changing market demands, much less a new set of billing requirements. The good news is that’s not the only option anymore.

“Progress comes at a price,” notes author John Edwards notes in his CIO article titled, “10 Signs Outdated IT Systems are Killing Your Business.” 

“In the IT world, that price includes the cost of upgrading or replacing the aging systems that are responsible for keeping your enterprise thriving and competitive,” states Edwards. “Knowing exactly when to pull the plug on an existing IT resource requires both insight and awareness, as well as a willingness to embrace new technologies and practices.”

There’s a real can-do spirit when it comes to homemade items, from family recipes to father-son go-cart projects and that sweater you knitted. We don’t wish to discourage that. It’s just when the homemade item in question resides smack dab in the middle of your monetization ecosystem, relying on that can-do spirit to cover up all those limitations can be the difference between your business success and failure.

Contact us today to learn how the purpose-built design of RecVue’s billing, revenue and channel payments platform can help accelerate your organization’s digital transformation.

 

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