In-house vs off the shelf solutions
When considering a new TEL initiative, relevant resources including expertise and technological solutions may already exist outside your organisation. What are the advantages and disadvantages of ‘in-house’ vs externally-sourced solutions?
This is an age old problem that TEL advisors face when time comes to replace a particular tool such as a VLE. Below is our google document notes on SWOT analysis for this very question.
Self-Hosted Vs Vendor-Cloud solution
Self hosted meaning we have ‘it’ on our servers, (Paid for or Opensource) ‘it’ is ‘developed’ by our developers and ‘it’ is serviced by our help desk
Can develop/make it your own
May be cheaper
You are ‘in control’
Run your own help desk
Add extra disk space easily
You can be out on your own
Lots of cost hidden
But lots of people aren’t that keen
You need to purchase sufficient server space and power to meet heaviest demands (question: what is this cost? If cloud providers throw it around so easily can it be that expensive, or are we not doing it right?)
Needs people on site 24/7 or at least on call – Model of provision
help desk needs staffing
Can’t blame the ‘evil vendor’, have to accept problem as ours.
Seen as the ‘cheap option’ by staff (but how much will they know? (this may be about staying with Sakai rather than where it sits)
to gain institution focused developers
to contribute to community
to develop ‘what we want’
Competitive advantage through distinction
We may not get institution focused developers (our region may not attract right applicants)
You run out of processor power and space
System goes down during the evening takes time to fix
Seen as the ‘cheap option’ by staff – who may therefore be much less engaged (but see caveat above on whether this is a Sakai issue)
Same again but for Vendor Hosted (cloud) (and therefore procurement and possibly greater change – )
Responsibility lies with vendor
Contracted to SLA and TAT
Server backup and security guaranteed?
Change requests can take a long time or may never even happen
Cloud goes down?
Lack of control of backend system
To gain UoH focused developers
We may not get institution focused developers
Price rises of server space
Opensource vs Paid for solutions
Part of a community
Benefits of belonging to an opensource community. T&L, development, support …
Quick to address issues in the community
Bug fixes sorted
New features can be developed quickly
Lack of roadmap (always?)
Free as in puppy
No one to blame
Can get bespoke VLE tools to meet our needs
Stability of community?
Lack of investment in in-house development team
No community voice
Development goes off on a tangent moved from weakness)
Add-ins deviate from core (branch) creating upgrade issues
Prone to bugs?
Building an expectation of local development
Paid for solutions
Clear development roadmap (always?)
Good look and feel?
Robust bug testing programme
Blame the vendor
No expectation of local development
Lack of customisation
Customisation may cause problems for late upgrades
Development team investment and stability in vendor company
Continual investment in upgrades required
The Change programme
Opportunity to use the change as part of a managed change programme to engage staff