Most Industries Trend Away from Building Software to Buying Software

I got the following repsonse to my post about whether to build or buy hospital health IT software:

I think it’s worth comparing to other industries. In most cases those industries slowly move away from building IT to buying IT. What happens is companies get more and more specialized and more and more flexible with their configurations that it’s cheaper to just buy the solution and customize the solution. There’s still cost to customize, but it’s cheaper than building it from scratch. Although, many are then disappointed that it’s not everything they want.

I have to agree that this is the case and is a great description to the overall trend that happens in companies. In many cases the companies start building their IT. Then, over time more and more IT is bought instead of being built. Little by little your IT team consists of customizers and project managers instead of programmers and database developers. Once this switch occurs, it’s really hard to go back to building your IT.

Do you see the same thing happening in hospital IT?

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of the, a network of leading Healthcare IT resources. The flagship blog, Healthcare IT Today, contains over 13,000 articles with over half of the articles written by John. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 20 million times.

John manages Healthcare IT Central, the leading career Health IT job board. He also organizes the first of its kind conference and community focused on healthcare marketing, Healthcare and IT Marketing Conference, and a healthcare IT conference,, focused on practical healthcare IT innovation. John is an advisor to multiple healthcare IT companies. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can be found on Twitter: @techguy.

1 Comment

  • Discussions I’ve been having in recent days point out that certain types of practices tend to be poorly served by MU oriented EHR’s. So while many practices will do well off the shelf, some see relatively little value added from such, and little interest in the EHR industry in enhancing their products to work better for such specialties. The reason is simple; EHR providers (ignoring the free ones) make their money through fees that practices hope will be covered by MU incentives. They don’t have the resources for the specialists. So until this changes, you will see providers, or groups of providers in the same fields, banding together to do their own EHR systems.

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