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The Great Debate: Build vs Buy BI

Posted by Carly Wilson on Wed, Feb 19, 2020

The Great Debate: Build vs Buy BI

by Carly Wilson / February 19, 2020

We continue to see the great debate: to build or buy come up again and again both in legal and other industries as well. Management and IT have questioned whether it is better to build or buy software solutions to the many business problems their law firm faces. Advantages and disadvantages are weighed as the decision making committee tries their best to do what is most cost effective and efficient for their law firm. It proves difficult though to accurately estimate the long-term consequences of that decision.


Is your firm on the fence about whether you should build in house or buy business intelligence software? $1.2 Million is the average three year cost of ownership for firms who develop internal BI and there is no guarantee that the efforts will be successful. Over the past decade we have talked to many firms who have taken the route of building in house. Many of these firms have come back to us several years later due to failed effort. 

The pace of legal technology innovation is accelerating at an almost exponential rate, making it difficult for the average law firm's internal IT groups to cope with this pace of change. The struggle commonly lies in the fact that they not only have to create the software internally, but that they must also maintain and upgrade it indefinitely.

Building the software has frequently won out in this debate in the past, but with the introduction of cloud and SaaS models, the tables are turning. Now, even outside of law firms, large global enterprises in both public and private sectors that have invested tens of millions of dollars in internal IT infrastructure are beginning to migrate to Cloud applications.

Resource: Are law firms moving to the cloud?

In an environment like this, it's tough for internal law firm products to compete with what can be bought.

When deciding whether to buy or build BI, you need to think about three key points:

  1. What is the scope of the problem you are trying to address with this business intelligence software, and how complex does your solution need to be to fit your law firm's size and needs?
  2. Does your law firm currently have (or can you hire) experts capable of building, maintaining, and supporting the BI solution?
  3. Is using the BI software critical to your firm's operations, or can you afford to wait years while the solution is developed?

Interested in learning more about both the advantages and disadvantages of building vs buying business intelligence for your law firm? Our white paper goes in depth on both options. Download our Build vs Buy whitepaper now.

Get a Demo: See the BigSquare BI Platform in Action

BigSquare is the leading provider of Business Intelligence for law firms and professional service organizations.  We focus exclusively on law firm reporting, law firm BI, law firm profitability and law firm analytics.


Tags: Business Intelligence Legal BI Law Firm Technology law firm business intelligence analytics

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