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7 Challenges faced by CIOs during custom software development

A CIO has a complex set of responsibilities, but one of the most interesting and challenging aspects of their work is developing custom software. In order to build a new solution from scratch or modernize an old one, Chief Information Officers must address numerous issues that can arise during the software development process.

7 Challenges faced by CIOs during custom software development

Build vs. Buy

The decision to build vs buy is a common dilemma for CIOs. It's also a common issue for software developers, who must choose between customizing existing software solutions or building custom solutions from scratch. Of course, every situation has its nuances and complexities, but you can understand why this question is so important by thinking about the following:

What resources do you have?

If you're an IT department of one person with limited time and budget, then building your own CRM solution might not be possible or practical. However, if your company has plenty of talent on hand—and if there are other departments in your organization that could benefit from a similar tool—then going down this route may be worth considering.

What is the scope?

Is it just tracking leads to opportunities? Or are there multiple functional areas involved (e-commerce/marketing)? The scope will help determine whether it's best to build everything yourself or use existing systems which may already provide some functionality you need but not others.

What is the scope

Legacy Technology Modernization

Modernization of legacy technology is a key component of many CIOs' digital transformation initiatives. It's also one of the most challenging aspects, due to a wide range of factors including organizational culture and business processes. The first challenge is finding the right way to modernize your legacy technology. There are three main approaches:

  • Rewrite/Redesign - Make major changes to an existing application or system
  • Extend/Enhance - Add new functionality to existing applications or systems without changing their underlying architecture
  • Migrate - Move from one platform (hardware, software) environment to another

Cost, quality, and time-to-market tradeoffs

A CIO's job is to ensure the company is getting the most value out of its technology investments. These investments are often made in custom software development, which can be expensive and time-consuming. There are a number of challenges facing CIOs during the custom software development process. Understanding these challenges and how to address them is critical to the success of your business. The following list highlights some of the most common challenges:


Cost is an obvious one; if you're spending too much money on a project it's not likely to be successful unless there are other compelling reasons for doing so (like brand value). This means that you need to make sure your team understands how much they can spend on this project before they start work on it – or you'll end up having to cut corners later down the road just so that your budget doesn't run out before its completion date arrives!


The quality of your product will largely determine how well it sells once released into the wild – so while having an amazing idea might seem like all anyone needs at first glance (and some people would argue this point even after considering other factors), without any actual design work done beforehand there's no guarantee anything useful will come out of whatever process follows afterwards either! It's important here then that all parties involved have realistic expectations about what types of results might occur based upon different sets of outcomes.


High risk and investment costs can cause companies to abandon their projects or even cancel them altogether. This is why it's important to look at all options before choosing a software development company, as well as establish clear expectations with your chosen provider.


A company will want its product up and running quickly, but developers need time for testing and bug fixes after release. Finding an appropriate balance between speed and quality is often tricky for all parties involved in the project, especially if deadlines aren't considered carefully from start until finish (or at least until launch).


It's almost impossible not to have some financial concerns when planning out custom software projects because expenses such as licensing fees will vary depending on where in world you're located—and then there are additional costs like outsourcing services from other countries!

Final Word

Whatever kind of business you’re running, developing custom software can be a challenging endeavour. We hope that this article has given you some insight into the most common problems faced by CIOs while they’re developing their own applications. This experience is not necessarily a bad thing—it provides CIOs with an opportunity to evolve and innovate their business through technology, which is always beneficial in today’s competitive marketplace. If you need help with developing your own systems, contact MGA experts to get started right away.