Benefits of databases

Disadvantages of database development

Guide

One of the main benefits of a relational database management system (RDBMS) technology is the ability to build applications that are tailored to your business requirements. However, the development of RDBMS applications can be expensive and time-consuming.

Developing in-house applications: pros and cons

You can develop your own applications in-house. However, the skills required are often quite extensive. You may not have the necessary skills available to undertake your own systems development and may have to consider employing outside help.

The basic tasks needed to build an RDBMS solution include:

  • initial consultancy
  • analysis of requirements
  • system specification
  • database design
  • programming
  • testing
  • implementation
  • training
  • ongoing maintenance

Building an RDBMS solution is likely to take time and, because there are so many steps involved, the costs can escalate. You should weigh these costs against the benefits of database development.

Operational risks

You should also consider the risk to your business operations if the RDBMS solution fails to meet your specific requirements. The risks are especially high if you need this solution for your core day-to-day business operations.

Avoid investing in a system which looks good on paper but which is totally unproven in practice. You could make use of an off-the-shelf solution to provide the core functions of your system - for example, the standard financial accounting needs - and add in extra modules for specific functions you need, such as sales order processing or supply chain management. This way you are minimising the overall risk to your business.

Find out more about IT risk management.