When is rescuing a failed software product more beneficial than acquiring a new one?

Failed software can put a wrench in anyone’s plans. When faced with failed software you must decide: is starting fresh the best course, or is this software worth rescuing? Each situation will be different, but many factors can weigh in on your decision. Some software-savvy individuals shared their knowledge with us. Keep reading to find out how they would make this decision.
Andrew Tomson

Andrew Tomson

Project Manager of Sofilmar.

Consider Current Market Conditions

Rescuing a failed software product is more beneficial if the market conditions and technical requirements haven’t changed drastically. A product might be worth salvaging if the business benefits can still be recovered at a reasonable time. Restoring a software product can be much more feasible if the costs are much less than acquiring a new one.

Gaining trust on a project deemed a loss is much easier once you take the remaining tasks and create a plan that addresses the biggest pain points and timelines to deliver the final product.

Compared to new software where you’ll need to start over again and create a project scope, it’s much simpler to eliminate the root causes of a troubled product and prevent it from happening again.

Factor in Cost

The only reason to give the silver bullet to a failed software product is if you have concrete data on its cost-effectiveness compared to acquiring a new one. That being said, we cannot predict the future, so in a way, we’re shooting in the dark and hoping for the best. If you truly believe in the later success of the failed software product and have the budget to spend on it, take that risk.

Stoyan Mitov

Stoyan Mitov

CEO & Co-founder of Dreamix.
Garrett Yamasaki

Garrett Yamasaki

Founder of WeLoveDoodles.

User Familiarity Plays Crucial Role

Rescuing a failed software product can often be more advantageous than acquiring a new one, particularly in the following three scenarios.

    1. First, if significant resources, including time, money, and human effort, have already been heavily invested into the existing software, rectifying the issues may be more cost-effective than initiating a new project from scratch.

    2. Second, the software might possess unique features or functionalities that are challenging to replicate or find in other products available in the market; in such cases, it is typically more beneficial to fix the existing problems.

    3. Finally, user familiarity plays a crucial role. If the user base is comfortable with the current system, introducing a new one might disrupt workflow and necessitate extensive retraining, making it more practical to repair the existing software instead.

Rescuing Can Save Time and Effort

Rescuing a failed software product can be better than getting a new one in some cases. Getting a new software product means paying upfront costs, like licensing fees, implementation expenses, and training. Sometimes, rescuing a failed software product can be cheaper, especially if the issues can be fixed without big investments.

If the failed software product is already part of the organization’s infrastructure and workflows, rescuing it can save time and effort compared to implementing a new system. If employees already know the software, salvaging it can reduce the learning curve and minimize disruption.

Moving data from one software system to another can be complicated and time-consuming. If the failed software product has important data, rescuing it can avoid the challenges of data migration and keep operations running smoothly.

The failed software product might have unique features or customizations that are not available in other options. If these features give a competitive advantage or fit specific business needs, rescuing the software can be better than starting over.

If the organization has a relationship with the vendor of the failed software product, their support and expertise can be used to address the product’s problems. This can lead to faster issue resolution and ongoing assistance.

Rescuing a failed software product can be a more advantageous choice in certain situations. By avoiding the upfront costs of acquiring a new system, minimizing disruption to existing workflows, preserving critical data, leveraging unique features, and tapping into vendor support, organizations can save resources and optimize their software investments. However, a comprehensive evaluation of the failure, costs, benefits, and long-term viability is essential in making the right decision for each specific scenario.

Marcus Davis

Marcus Davis

Co-founder at Wellyx.

This is a crowdsourced article. Contributors' statements do not necessarily reflect the opinion of this website, other people, businesses, or other contributors.