Intelligence and investigation management software: To build or buy?

Jul 11, 2023
Should you build your intelligence and investigation management software in-house? We believe better value comes from Clue.

The decision to ‘build or buy’ is a difficult one when it comes to investing in intelligence and investigation management software.

Developing solutions in-house might seem like the best way to address your unique requirements and move your intelligence and investigations off spreadsheets, especially if you already have a developer team in-house.

On the other hand, any significant software project requires large resources to develop, implement, and maintain overall. That is not to mention the cost of outright project failure.

To help you in your decision to build or buy, below we have challenged some common preconceptions around the benefits of homegrown development and have explained why we think better value comes from working with a partner like Clue.

I want to build a specialised solution 

“In-house development projects allow us to build to our exact requirements – we won’t risk overspending of features and functionality that we don’t need.”  

Building your custom case management solution takes time. Having your development team tackle this challenge in-house will be a serious stretch on resources that may impact your organisation.  

Furthermore, with an increasingly competitive job market and a shortage of development professionals, ensuring you attract and retain the right experts with the relevant experience to carry out the work will be another challenge. If the original engineers move on, who will maintain it?  

Why choose Clue?  

We specialise in centralising intelligence and investigation management, but our capabilities extend beyond that. Clue conducts in-depth business analysis to implement the best configuration for your use case to maximise your outcomes and return on investment.  

Our rigorous discovery process ensures you have a solution that meets your needs while offering scalability down the line. Often, business analysis will highlight opportunities to enhance your current approach to intelligence and investigation management.  

I want to save on longer-term costs 

“Besides the upfront cost of development, building in-house means we’ll save on ongoing subscription costs.” 

This view overlooks ‘hidden’ and substantial costs in testing, infrastructure updates, API support and integration, annual pen tests, security audits, user training, and more. There is a whole raft of considerations that could see initially conservative cost estimates for case management software projects spiral over time.  

When it comes to onward development, meanwhile, you may find your system is in competition for resources against other projects, putting roadblocks on innovation.  

Why choose Clue?  

Our subscription comprises a continually refreshed package of new features, professional services, research, and development, and tailored, timely support when you need it. This means you can focus on using Clue for better outcomes from intelligence and investigations, without worrying about maintenance and ongoing development. 

In joining Clue, you will become part of a diverse community of investigation professionals that we connect in regular structured events to share knowledge and best practices. You will access the benefits of a product developed in step with customer feedback.  

I want to own and control our code  

“Building bespoke will give us full ownership of our solution, and control over its operation and roadmap. We won’t be dependent on vendor decisions.” 

Proprietary rights can be crucial in highly competitive sectors. In the world of intelligence and investigations, there are clear advantages in sharing best practice and successful approaches.  

While wanting full control and oversight of the product code and development roadmap is completely valid, meanwhile, it comes at the cost of continued investments in maintenance and research and development.  

Why choose Clue? 

Clue works closely with its customers to understand and listen to their needs. Our Customer Success and Support teams are readily available to ensure Clue is configured to your specific use cases from implementation onwards. Clue has also been built as an ‘open’ system, meaning that you can integrate your application with other software tools and data sources you rely on to harness the power of your existing resources. 

At the same time, community feedback is used to direct and drive our Product Roadmap. As a Clue user, you will enjoy continual innovation that empowers your team to surface more insights from data, enhance operations, and achieve more successful outcomes from intelligence and investigations.  

In addition, Clue meets the requirements of the National Intelligence Model, the National Code of Practice for Intelligence Management, and offers a direct link to national systems such as Police National Database. 

A final thought

When choosing to build or enhance software in-house, it is important to consider all steps involved, from initial design to ongoing maintenance and data protection procedures. Development time is a small component of what can be a significant transformation project involving changes to processes and people.  

One of the most important considerations is lifetime value; forecasting the return on investment in terms of the impact it has on your intelligence and investigations.  

Clue specialises in SaaS for intelligence and investigations. Our solutions are tried and tested, highly configurable, and quickly implemented. As well as providing comprehensive support to our users, we are continually innovating our core product. 

Clue is trusted by 4,000+ investigation professionals around the world, operating across sectors including government, law enforcement, NGO and commercial. These users are using our software to manage and find connections in complex data, progress efficient investigations, detect threats early and achieve robust outcomes.  

Investing in Clue provides businesses with a cost-effective solution that can be quickly implemented, easily maintained, and constantly updated. By partnering with Clue, businesses can save on longer-term costs, access a broad community of users, and benefit from a software solution that has been developed in line with community feedback and product enhancements. 

Want to learn more about how Clue can work for you? Book a tailored Clue demo

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