How to Build, When to Buy: Scalable Tactics for Digital Projects and Services


Saturday, April 04, 2020: 9:30am - 10:50am -

Chad Curtis, Saint Louis Art Museum, USA

Knowing when to build or buy software is an ongoing topic that has existed for decades, but answers evolve alongside trends in museum staffing and software business models.

How do you respond when vendors and agencies are filling your inbox with listicles on why you should buy their solutions? What if an energetic developer wants to build sharable and open solutions that will require maintainers? How can museums with very different resources and personnel share tactics in a meaningful way?

This paper aims to provoke conversation and encourage museums to address the question of “build versus buy” case by case and not as a global institutional decision.

Price, Kati and James, Dafydd. "Structuring for digital success: A global survey of how museums and other cultural organizations resource, fund, and structure their digital teams and activity." MW18: MW 2018. Published January 31, 2018.

Pryor, Wendy. "Digital strategy in evolution: Issues and responses emerging from the project to develop a digital transformation strategy for Museum Victoria." MW2016: Museums and the Web 2016. Published January 24, 2016.