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Build or Buy or… Both?

Build or Buy

JWorks for Courts   •   An equivant product

Build vs. Buy. In our industry, and in many others, this is a constant technology dilemma. Should we buy a product and shoe-horn our existing processes and structures into it, or should we reinvent the wheel but make it OUR wheel that works for OUR people?

This is a tough question, but for courts, maybe it’s not the right question.

We’re used to dichotomies: Guilty or not guilty. Right or wrong. Legal or illegal. But when it comes to technology, build and buy are not the only two choices. When it comes to your case management system (CMS), there could be a middle ground.

The real question is, How do we digitally manage cases without sacrificing the needs of our people and our community?

When we expand our view beyond build vs. buy and examine the real question we’re all trying to answer, we open our minds to other possibilities.

Enter the NCSC’s component model. Critics look at components as a more complicated form of “buy” … rather than buying one thing, you’re buying many things and adding the headache of trying to fit them together. And without the right level of expertise, those critics would be correct: components can’t just be thrown together and expected to work.

So, let’s not throw them together. Let’s be strategic. Let’s invest the time, expertise, and money to do it right. Let’s build and buy. Let’s protect our processes and design OUR wheel for OUR people.

At equivant, we’re unabashed fans of the component model for courts. And we’re also working hard to help our industry define what the component model really is. It’s not a mish-mash of unrelated parts held together with shoestring and toothpaste.

The way we see it, the component model, when done right, starts with a strong foundational CMS structure with the agility to adapt its screens, fields, flows, rules, and reports—even the way it pairs with other software components—to meet your specific needs. As the NCSC recommends, it means having your court’s in-house technology expertise paired with outside partner expertise to create efficient, productive, secure solutions.

It’s never going to be as easy as buying a pre-packaged system and plugging it in, but let’s be honest – that was never an option anyway.

You shouldn’t have to be a contortionist to align your court business with your court software, and you shouldn’t have to build from scratch, either. A component model with a strong, flexible CMS base is the future of court technology, and it’s happening now.

Shift your thinking away from “build vs. buy.” Contact us today to see how the component model can work for you.