The Long-Term Cost of Creating Your Own Grant Management Platform

The Long-Term Cost of Creating Your Own Grant Management Platform

Grant management is a complex process that can make or break your operation. If you’re looking to streamline your grant management, specialized software is an excellent way to make the process easier. With grant management software, you can securely handle all your grant submissions, deadlines and approvals, allowing you to get the funding you need. 

Getting the right grant management software is essential — picking the right setup lets you seamlessly integrate the software with your existing systems and helps you stay on top of grant management. Organizations will typically choose to create their grant management software in-house, or they’ll turn to a professional software company for their software needs. If you’re considering developing your management software from scratch, you’ll want to consider what it costs to have grant management software.

Let’s take a look at the different costs and challenges of in-house and pre-made grant management software to help you find the best fit for your organization’s needs.

The Cost of Developing Grant Management Software

If you want to build and run your own grant management software, you’ll need to consider all of the initial and long-term costs. Building grant management software in-house means investing in the right people and tools. Everything, from the initial planning to the continuous use of your software, needs careful planning.

Initial Development Costs

Developing any software means considering the initial startup costs and labor. You’ll need to plan out what you want your software to do and how you will achieve those results — this helps ensure you have a clear direction in mind. Here are the two main initial development points you’ll need to keep in mind:

  • Hiring developers: Every software project begins with a skilled team. You’ll need skilled developers to help plan, build and test your code. Additionally, you’ll want to invest in project managers to help keep everything on schedule. Your developers and project managers should have previous experience with building management software since grant management requires specific functions and regulatory compliance. All in-house software development should begin with a strong team to help get your ideas off the ground.
  • Software infrastructure setup: Your software’s effectiveness depends on its setup. Without a solid foundation, your software will not perform as you want. Establish a good foundation by investing in the right computers, software tools and frameworks. With the right tools, your software will be scalable and adaptable, growing with your organization’s needs.

While the initial investment in labor and tools may seem significant, they lay the bedrock for a tailored, in-house solution that meets your grant management needs.

Ongoing Maintenance Costs

Running your software in-house means continually ensuring the software remains operational and updated. Here are two of the most important maintenance costs you need to be prepared to deal with:

  • Regular updates: Grant management software is not a “one-and-done” project — it needs regular updates to keep it in sync with changing needs, rules and new technologies. You’ll have to maintain the staff and technology to support ongoing improvement processes for the software. Continual improvements are essential for keeping your software relevant and effective as your needs and regulations change.
  • Technical support: Technical problems can pop up unexpectedly — you’ll need a solid support system to handle fixing these issues before they affect your grant process. Allocating resources to fix these bugs and providing technical support ensures the software runs smoothly and users have somewhere to turn when things go wrong. 

Time Investment

Running your own management software also means investing lots of time into the whole process. You’ll need to invest significant time and resources into development and staff, which might delay your grant management.

  • Development time: You need to invest your time into planning, coding and testing the software to ensure everything works correctly. The development phase is crucial to getting everything right — rushing development can lead to problems down the line. During the development period, you won’t be able to use your software for grant management, so you’ll also need to take time to find a temporary solution.
  • Training staff: Once your software is up and running, you need to take time to train your staff. Training is essential to help them use the grant management software effectively, reducing errors and making operations smoother.

Partnering With a Software Organization

If you want to get into grant management software, collaborating with a software organization can be an excellent solution, helping reduce costs and timelines. Still, you’ll need to consider the costs that come with using grant management software from another company.

The Cost of Developing Grant Management Software

Initial Implementation Costs

While you have no development costs when you get software from an organization, there are still some initial costs to think about:

  • Licensing fees: One of the main upfront costs you’ll see when partnering with a software organization is the licensing fee. This fee lets your organization use the software, and it’s typically based on user count or other usage metrics. While it’s an immediate expense, it eliminates the need for you to invest in an extensive recruitment process and training in-house devs. 
  • Personalization costs: Personalization lets you tailor software to your organizational needs. While this can mean extra costs, it’s usually more economical than building an entire system from scratch. Software organizations offer configurable solutions, so you get a personalized solution without the time and financial commitments of in-house development.

Subscription Fees

You may have to make regular payments to your software provider so you can continue to use it. These costs are often lower than what you would pay to run the software yourself, but you should keep them in mind when budgeting for grant management software.

  • Regular service payments: Along with a licensing fee, you might have to pay a subscription to use grant management software and all associated services. While this means budgeting for ongoing costs, the subscription provides you with the flexibility to scale usage as needed and ensures you have access to the latest updates and features.
  • Updates and support included: Subscription fees usually cover using the software and receiving ongoing updates and support. Paying for these perks means you don’t have to manage maintenance tasks, bug fixes or updates yourself. Partnering with a software company ensures your grant management system remains current, secure and aligned with industry standards.

Deployment Time

While you don’t have to wait for your software to be developed from scratch, there’s still some deployment time with getting grant management software.

Deployment Time
  • Quick implementation: One of the main advantages of using a software company is the fast implementation process. Since the software is pre-built, you get a significantly shorter deployment time. Personalized software packages will have a longer deployment time than pre-configured options. However, both allow you to get the software integrated and running much faster than in-house options.
  • Minimal staff training: Pre-built software solutions are designed with user-friendliness in mind. Staff training requirements are often minimal compared to in-house solutions since the organization usually provides support, including startup guides that show you how to run grant management software so you can get off the ground quickly. This helps minimize disruptions and ensures a smoother transition for your organization’s staff.

Top Factors Influencing Your Decision

Finding the right grant management software for your business depends on your needs and operation. Evaluating the most important factors gives you a better idea of what you want. Here are the main factors to consider when choosing a grant management software.

1. Budget

Your organization’s budget is an essential factor when choosing between in-house development or a software organization.

Building grant management software internally means dealing with significant upfront costs — hiring, infrastructure setup and ongoing maintenance — that can set you back. In contrast, partnering with a software organization means getting a more predictable and manageable financial model, with licensing fees and subscription costs spread out over time.

You should weigh your available financial resources against your desired grant management system to find the best option for your team.

2. Technical Expertise

Technical Expertise

In-house development requires a team of skilled developers, project managers and IT professionals who can navigate software creation and maintenance. Look at your existing technical expertise — insufficient capabilities might lead to challenges in effectively developing and managing an in-house solution. Working with a software organization gives you their technical knowledge, reducing your reliance on in-house expertise and spending.

3. Needs

Your organization’s unique grant management needs are essential to consider when choosing your software option.

In-house development lets you tailor your software whenever you need it, letting you meet your changing needs. If you operate in a niche sector, being able to shape your software as needed might outweigh the costs and time investment of in-house development.

However, software organizations provide configurable solutions that work with a broad range of needs. If you want convenience and practicality, this may be the option for you.

4. Time Constraints

In-house development involves detailed planning, hiring and development timelines, which will make your software process take longer. Partnering with a software organization means getting a quicker deployment time thanks to their pre-built solutions and streamlined implementation process. Your organization’s timelines and capacity to integrate swiftly need careful evaluation when picking a development approach.

Should You Develop Your Own Grant Management Software?

As you weigh your grant development options, you should understand the risks that come with in-house development. While developing your own grant management software can be rewarding, there are some challenges you’ll face.

  • Technical challenges: In-house development can come with its own unique technical challenges. Creating complex software systems necessitates a deep understanding of diverse technologies. Unexpected obstacles can mean long stretches of little progress. You might encounter compatibility issues or trouble with evolving programming languages, and your organization needs to be prepared to address and overcome these issues. It’s essential to have a good in-house team to keep things moving smoothly.
  • Staff turnover: In-house development can be difficult, and you might face problems when staff turnover occurs. Losing key members of your development or project management team might disrupt progress. Recruiting and onboarding new team members can also extend timelines, impacting the development schedule. You’ll need to use strategies for retaining talent and ensuring knowledge transfer to prevent roadblocks. 
  • Scope creep: In-house development projects are exposed to scope creep, where project initiatives expand beyond your initial plan. Additional features or functionalities might be introduced, leading to increased development time and costs. You’ll have to schedule regular scope reviews to ensure the project stays on track.
  • Budget increases: Budget management might be another challenge. Surprise challenges or changes in project scope can lead to budget overruns. Maintaining a realistic budget, making contingency plans and monitoring expenses are essential for in-house work.

While in-house development offers you increased customization, it also means handling all of the expenses and challenges of software development. Working with a software organization eliminates all of these issues, letting you use the grant management software you need without having to deal with the extra budget, staff and technical issues of software development.

Experience Seamless Grant Management With IGX Solutions

Experience Seamless Grant Management With IGX Solutions

In-house grant software development takes valuable time and resources away from your organization. Using vendor grant management software allows you to enjoy all the benefits of grant management software without the stress of managing everything yourself.

IntelliGrants® IGX software delivers an experience tailored to the unique demands of grant administration. Keep your grant management processes fluid and seamless with tools carefully crafted for various organizations. Our commitment to versatility and efficiency is perfected in IntelliGrants IGX, offering configurable tools and features that seamlessly align with your workflow.

From intuitive navigation to status tracking throughout grant creation, application and review, our software empowers your team at every step. With a feature-rich interface and an off-the-shelf solution status, you just need to configure IGX Solutions software to your specifications. Choose IntelliGrants IGX for a streamlined grant management experience that elevates your organization’s efficiency and impact. 

Are you ready to get started? Book a demo today.