The decision to “build or buy” contract management software in the healthcare industry is a huge step in the process towards greater organizational efficiency. Decision makers for hospitals, medical centers, and health plans must make this choice for a wide variety of software types including but not limited to: contract management software, billing and invoicing software, customer relationship management software, human resources software, or identity management software.
Regardless of what system you’re looking to implement, it is important to recognize the advantages and disadvantages of a home-grown versus a commercial solution.
The goal of implementing new contract lifecycle software is ultimately to increase user productivity. Whether to construct the software internally, or to purchase the software from a vendor, it should be based on maximizing productivity. Does building a new system focus on your organization’s core competencies? Are you factoring the actual time it will take to build the software into the cost comparisons? Will an off-the-shelf contract management software solution bend enough to meet your organization’s requirements? Can the product handle healthcare industry specific tasks, such as managing the lifecycle of vendor, provider, payer, and facility agreements? Will the product be HIPAA and HITECH compliant? These questions should be heavily evaluated before reaching a final judgement on whether to build or whether to buy.
Contract Management Software: Build vs. Buy
Electing to build a new contract lifecycle management software solution should be based on some, or all, of the following elements:
The contract software your company is building is a solution capable of solving the problem your organization has.
Building the contract software is economically feasible from a cost and time perspective.
The search conducted for a commercial contract management software alternative did not produce any viable candidates.
Alternatives available for purchase are not able to be personalized to the healthcare industry’s vernacular, processes or compliance needs.
Electing to buy a new contract lifecycle management software solution should be based on some, or all, of the following elements:
- The contract software your company is buying is a solution capable of solving the problem your organization has based on your own research, user reviews, and healthcare references.
- Buying the contract management software is economically feasible.
- Access to a dedicated support staff, with people whose job it is to be knowledgeable about the particular software system, is essential to your organization.
- The contract management software your company is purchasing is able to be personalized to the healthcare industry’s vernacular, processes and compliance needs.
- The vendor offers software that can be SaaS (cloud-based) or installed on your infrastructure.
Like many business decisions, whether to “build or buy” software solutions, such as contract management software, are dependent on a multitude of factors. Free market competition promotes innovation which means that many commercial contract software systems will have features your organization could never create in-house. However, no one knows your organization’s problems, procedures, and lingo like your organization does. The way to get something done right may be to do it yourself, but don’t let that stop you from getting something even better.
About CobbleStone Software and Contract Insight™
CobbleStone has helped thousands of contract professions better manage their contracts and contract compliance for more than 20 years. Learn more about Contract Insight™ Contract Management Software by visiting us at http://www.CobbleStoneSystems.com and sign up for a free demo.