Why is it so hard to get other teams to use software that you build yourself?
Every CIO’s dream is of an organization with common software, so why does the dream so easily become a nightmare?
Building something to share is totally different to building something to use yourself:
- Sharable software requires the builder to understand the many ways that developers will want to try to use the tech (instead of just one).
- The level of documentation, support tools, error handling, testing tools and overall intuitiveness and consistency of how the system is built needs to be at another level.
Most software that’s being shared is not suitable for sharing and actually slows things down:
- The software was not built to be shared, it just happened to be successful at one particular use-case.
- Just because something can be shared, doesn’t mean it should.
Capital Markets firms do not incentivize developers to build shared tech:
- The incentives are generally designed to reward developers who build features that generate revenue, not developers that save cost making it hard to retain talent.
- Shared software teams rarely share a reporting line with the business facing teams and are organizational equals which makes it hard for them to treat their developer users as clients.
Zero competition introduces apathy:
- Without competition and a tangible upside what incentive does the shared tech team have to keep improving and coming up with new versions.
So what? This makes the business case for delegating the responsibility of building shared software to fintech software vendors, where laser focus, constant competition and client orientation create a product that cannot easily be matched by your own teams.
And even if you do match, would you have been better off spending those tech dollars on features that differentiate you?