Does your online calendar application need a major update? Here at Localist, we provide a white-label online social calendar. But we realize that outsourcing or licensing a white-labeled technology doesn’t always make sense. Whether or not to outsource depends largely on your organization’s needs and current IT resources.
Should you keep your calendar application in-house, or is it time to outsource? Whether you’re a school, non-profit, media company, or any organization that collects events for its community, read on for the questions you should ask to help you decide whether to build your own solution or get some outside help.
1. Are your internal IT resources strained?
What resources can you dedicate to building an in-house calendar? Building a calendar from scratch can take a team of 3 full-time staff a year to build, if everything goes according to plan. If it takes a long time for a requested feature to be added to your current calendar, it may make more sense to outsource your calendar. Outsourcing ensures that your calendar gets the attention it deserves without drawing resources away from your already busy IT department.
On the other hand, if you’ve got a lot of IT horsepower or if you have the resources to add more staff, insourcing may make sense.
2. How important is social media integration and user participation?
Integrating social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn into your calendar is expensive and time consuming. Keeping social media integration updated requires constant maintenance as social media platforms make changes. Yet social integration can increase the use of your calendar, and help your events get more publicity. If you see your calendar as highly social, and want users to push events across social media platforms, using an outsourced calendar that includes these features and will maintain them for you is your best bet.
If social media features aren’t a priority for your calendar, sticking with an in-house calendar could work.
3. How big is your community and how many events do you have to add?
The scale of your calendar plays a great part in determining whether you can manage it in-house or whether outsourcing is a better solution. For communities with a high volume of events (dozens per month), an outsourced application will have a powerful administrative backend that has been perfected over time to make adding large amounts of events easy.
For small communities or calendars with fewer scheduled events, an in-house solution may suffice.
4. How important is uptime?
With the powerful redundancy of the cloud, you can be guaranteed virtually 100% uptime by going with an outsourced cloud solution. Guaranteed uptime means fewer frustrations if users rely heavily on your calendar application and need it to be working consistently.
If uptime isn’t a priority for your calendar, or if you have enough redundancy built into your infrastructure to make 99.99% uptime realistic, using an in-house solution makes sense.
5. Are your users’ support questions being addressed adequately?
In many cases, the ongoing expenses of not only building, but also supporting an in-house system make it cost-prohibitive. Does your calendar break? Is it confusing for users to find events? Can your staff add events without major headaches? A good cloud solution addresses the end-to-end experience, so you can focus on what matters—keeping students informed and engaged in what’s happening on campus. The outsourced calendar provider can deal with any user experience issues that arise—which should be few and far between.
6. How much dedicated staff do you have to maintain your calendar?
For an in-house calendar to truly flourish internally, you’ll need the following people on your team:
- IT Director
- IT Project Manager
- Tier 2 Help Desk
- Database Administrator
- Marketing Director
- Marketing Assistant
If you do have these positions on your staff, then using an in-house calendar application makes sense. If not, consider outsourcing in order to maintain a quality calendar. Outsourcing will ensure that enough attention is devoted to the upkeep of your calendar without redirecting the attention of your entire IT department.