When deciding to implement a continuing education management system (CEMS) you are faced with a ton of decisions. One of the biggest questions is: Should you develop a system from scratch or buy something off the shelf? While we are a CEMS provider, we love, respect and embrace the spirit of DIY innovation. So let’s explore this topic a bit more and discuss some important things to consider.


In many way’s we’re all still children. When we want something, we want it NOW, especially if we’ve already paid for it! The same is true for a CEMS. Once the need has been identified, waiting for its deployment can be irksome. Imagine having to wait a year or more as a team of programmers builds and tests your custom CEMS. Now imagine it being late. According to the management consulting firm McKinsey & Company, 33% of software build projects aren’t complete by the promised deadline. Can your organization afford to wait a year or more to bring their continuing education online? Can you forgo a year or more of continuing education product sales?


Overtime often translates into over budget. And with 66% of software build projects going over budget, it pays to think about this. Whether you hire a team of developers, or a custom software development company, the initial costs of building your own CEMS are significant. As you consider your build vs buy options factor in your ROI. How long will it take you to recoup the costs of building a CEMS vs buying one?

Maintenance & Upgrades

Often when talking about ROI, most people focus on the initial cost to build a CEMS. However, as your software ages, and as technology advances, you’ll have to make periodic investments to upgrade your CEMS. Be sure to factor in maintenance and upgrade costs.


Ahhh….everyone’s favorite question, “Who do I call if it doesn’t work?” If you build your own CEMS, you will also have to provide your own technical support. So who will be fielding calls from users having issues from “I forgot my password,” to “When I try to view the course I keep getting an error message”? Whether you choose to bring a support team on staff, or outsource it to a company, it can get quite expensive. Especially if you want good customer support, not the kind that drives 68% of customers to abandon companies each year.

The decision to buy or build can be a tough one. Considering the factors above can result in the least amount of headaches possible, and give you the best option for your company. Look for future blogs where we’ll delve into these issues in more detail.