Vendor lock-in; suddenly you’re stuck
Your business is growing. You’ve made investments, such as getting software developed, and you have a product development that serves your customers. You are generating sales and you have come a long way. One Tuesday morning you receive an email from one of your key customers, it’s a request to introduce a new feature. It’s a logical request, the feature in question could be useful to a lot of other customers. You have a plan, and contact your software developer.
The latter indicates he will have time to start working on the feature in a month or two. That’s considerably later than you’d like. Then again, Rome wasn’t built in a day. You immediately ask for an hourly estimate and it is not exactly the best. But the feature is important for your product and you decide to invest.
It is now three months later. You have received a hefty invoice, the feature has not yet been implemented and by now you are starting to lose confidence. How will you tell your customer that introducing a seemingly simple feature is taking so long? Meanwhile, you have received more requests from other customers. This can’t go on like this, you have neither the time nor the budget to go through this process again. Let alone more often! While your developer continues to work on the first feature, you request a second opinion from a number of other software development companies.
Now you are really shocked, none of the software developers you approached is familiar with the development language in which the software is written, let alone with the use of the self-built libraries that are supposed to save time. They can’t help you develop new functionality. You are stuck. Or to put it another way, you are the victim of a classic case of Vendor Lock-in.