Deciding between buying or building has always been a tremendous challenge and the debate still continues in boardrooms across the globe. However, the rise of remote and hybrid forms of working have brought about new challenges that are difficult to overcome with in-house solutions. This is clearly tilting the decision in favor of buying, as organizations seek to overcome those challenges and ensure a productive workforce.
A Gartner survey has discovered that 74% of CFOs are planning to let at least a portion of their workforce work remotely on a permanent basis. In a remote or hybrid working environment, it is imperative that employees aren’t burdened with complex systems that can hamper productivity. Instead, organizations need to ensure a seamless experience that allows employees to work anywhere, anytime, ensuring not only higher productivity but also increased trust among the workforce.
This is particularly evident for the organization’s time tracking system. The lack of an accurate time tracking solution makes it difficult to properly quantify the work your employees are doing, the project status and progress, and, ultimately, how the work is affecting business revenue and profitability.
The Complexities of a Global Time Tracking Platform
Time tracking is the driving force behind several mission-critical functions for an organization – client billing, payroll, project costing, resource allocation, and more. To keep these processes running smoothly and efficiently, you need several key features in your time tracking platform. No matter whether you choose to build or buy, having these features will be vital for your organization.
Time tracking can provide invaluable data into how employees are spending their work hours, whether it is managing mission-critical assignments or administrative tasks, allowing you to improve productivity. It is essential for you to have deep insight into all tasks to determine the correct resource and time requirements. This enables you to ensure that each resource is performing to their full potential at maximum efficiency.
Accurate Client Billing
Through time tracking, you can capture and record all billable hours incurred, making it easier to invoice your clients accurately. You can prevent instances of over or undercharging, which not only helps you remain profitable but also maintain a solid relationship with your clients.
Similarly to client billing, the data generated by a time tracking system can be used for driving payroll processes in your organization. A time tracking system with robust validations for ensuring accurate timesheets can be immensely valuable to the payroll department in ensuring correct wage distribution every time. Such a system will be inherently better than manual spreadsheets and paper ledgers.
Automating Time Tracking Processes
A common misconception about time tracking software is that it only captures in and out times. Time tracking is capable of a lot more. In addition to tracking employee time, it allows you to track and monitor tasks, projects, and resources. You can gain a comprehensive view of your existing workflows, giving you the opportunity to analyze them and identify any efficiency gaps. The insights generated by time tracking, therefore, helps in automating workflows across your organization for consistency and efficiency.
Higher Utilization Rates
A time tracking solution gives you the opportunity to understand the time spent on different tasks by different employees. This insight allows you to create better schedules that ensure that each resource is being utilized to their full capacity. You also get to verify billable tasks and non-billable tasks to ensure full coverage across the board and improve resource utilization.
Through a robust time tracking solution, you get to discover the exact areas where inefficiencies and revenue leaks exist. This gives you the chance to correct those issues and bring back the costs on track.
Why Buying is the Way to Go
It is certainly understandable why organizations are tempted to build new systems and solutions from scratch. They have talented developers and want to ensure a tighter control over their technology and costs. However, considering the extensive complexities involved in a robust time tracking solution, it is quite likely that the development will be an enormous challenge and a more expensive one to boot.
Building a viable time tracking solution to cover all use cases necessary may require organizations to spend two or more years. That includes the utilization of considerable IT resources along with search for subject matter experts. Organizations seeking to build a platform must also consider the need for global governance along with unique local requirements that can occur in the future.
According to the Aberdeen report, “As organizations make the transition to the cloud, the trend of buy versus build has increased the expected shelf life of cloud solutions by several years because of the continuous upgrades and support that cloud-based offerings provide.”
If you are still on the fence, consider the following advantages to buying a global time tracking system.
Faster Time to Market: Building a global-ready time tracking platform can take any organization several years to research, develop and fine-tune before the final launch. However, buying a solution allows the organization to start leveraging the benefits of such a platform almost immediately. The most they need to wait for will be to get the platform configured and installed which can take as little as a few days.
Minimal Maintenance and Support: Purchasing a solution puts the burden of maintenance and support on the solution provider. The provider will be responsible for all ongoing maintenance, patches, and updates. They may charge a fee for these services which will typically be included in the subscription costs.
Gentle Learning Curve: Organizations will generally find the learning curve to be gentler and easier with commercial time tracking solutions. These products are meant to be used by a wider range of audiences with varying degrees of technical skills. Therefore, it is in the best interest of the provider to ensure their solutions are more intuitive and more user-friendly.
By choosing to build, large services organizations will end up focusing their efforts on activities that aren’t a part of their core activities. This can affect their bottom line in the long run. However, choosing a pre-built global time tracking platform like Replicon allows organizations to retain their focus on their business without distractions. They can continue serving their clients to the best of their abilities while letting a trusted vendor handle critical processes such as time tracking, payroll, and billing.