Assignment Content Determining when to develop a system in-house or to purchase a COTS system is not always clear. A SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis brings the strengths and opportunities to a focus point and highlights the threats and weaknesses so an informed decision can be made. This analysis is often completed by the stakeholders, including the business analyst. a SWOT analysis of buy versus build for your chosen system using the knowledge gained from the Week 5 discussion, Purchasing Software Applications. You may use any Microsoft® program to create the SWOT analysis similar to the one featured in Ch. 12 of your SWOT analysis to create a guide for managers at Phoenix Fine Electronics to help determine if the business should build or buy a system. Incorporate feedback from the sourcing plan you created last week. Support your guide with at least 2 references. As a guideline, this type of guide should be 4 to 5 pages in length with written descriptions, charts, and outlines. the following in your guide: o Various steps needed to purchase or develop a system in-house o Budget considerations o Staffing considerations o Time considerations o Risks o Maintenance plan o References

Determining whether to develop a system in-house or purchase a Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) system is a critical decision that organizations must make. To make an informed decision, a SWOT analysis can be conducted, which assesses the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats associated with each option. The SWOT analysis is typically completed by stakeholders, including the business analyst, and can serve as a guide for managers in making the buy versus build decision.

The first step in the SWOT analysis is to identify the strengths of each option. When considering purchasing a COTS system, the strengths may include access to advanced features and functionalities, established vendor support, and a potentially shorter implementation timeline. On the other hand, developing a system in-house provides the opportunity to tailor the solution to specific business needs, have full control over the development process, and potentially reduce long-term costs.

Next, the weaknesses of each option should be considered. For purchasing a COTS system, the weaknesses may include limited customization options, potential integration challenges with existing systems, and dependency on the vendor for updates and maintenance. Developing a system in-house may have weaknesses such as higher initial costs, longer development timelines, and the need for specialized technical expertise.

The opportunities associated with each option should also be evaluated. Purchasing a COTS system may provide opportunities for cost savings through economies of scale, access to industry best practices, and the ability to quickly adopt new technologies. Developing a system in-house may create opportunities for innovation, intellectual property ownership, and the potential for competitive advantage.

Lastly, the threats of each option should be examined. Purchasing a COTS system may pose threats such as vendor lock-in, the risk of software obsolescence, and potential security vulnerabilities. Developing a system in-house may face threats such as project scope creep, resource constraints, and the potential for higher long-term maintenance costs.

Once the SWOT analysis is completed, the guide should include various steps needed to purchase or develop a system in-house. This may include requirements gathering, vendor evaluation, request for proposal (RFP) creation, contract negotiation, and software development lifecycle phases such as analysis, design, development, and testing.

Budget considerations should also be addressed in the guide. This includes the costs associated with purchasing a COTS system, such as licensing fees, implementation costs, and ongoing maintenance fees. For developing a system in-house, the budget considerations may include hardware and software costs, personnel expenses, training, and ongoing maintenance and support.

Staffing considerations are crucial when making the buy versus build decision. Purchasing a COTS system may require less internal resources, as vendor support may be available for implementation and ongoing maintenance. However, if developing a system in-house, the organization must consider the availability of skilled developers, project managers, and support staff.

Time considerations should also be discussed in the guide. Purchasing a COTS system may enable a faster implementation timeline, as the software is already developed and ready to use. Developing a system in-house may require a longer time frame due to the design and development process.

Moreover, potential risks should be identified and addressed. This includes the risks associated with purchasing a COTS system, such as vendor stability, vendor lock-in, and potential system failures. Developing a system in-house may have risks such as project delays, technical challenges, and quality assurance issues.

A maintenance plan is essential for both options and should be outlined in the guide. For purchasing a COTS system, the maintenance plan may include support and updates provided by the vendor, as well as any required integration or customization efforts. Developing a system in-house requires a maintenance plan that addresses bug fixes, enhancements, and ongoing support.

In conclusion, the SWOT analysis serves as a guide for managers at Phoenix Fine Electronics to determine whether to build or buy a system. This guide outlines the various steps, budget considerations, staffing considerations, time considerations, risks, and maintenance plans associated with each option. By considering these factors and incorporating feedback from the sourcing plan, informed decisions can be made for the organization.

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