E-Commerce · Management

Would you advise keeping a developer on long term for maintenance after development or building your own technical team?

Treasure Kahitu Co-founder. Innovation and diversity is a major concentration

Last updated on September 25th, 2017

I am getting a developing company to create my company's website. I am not a technical person. The plan is to have them give me and two IT people I will be recruiting training on the ins and outs of the website to ensure we can assist clients on minor technical issues and also as a backup. I would then keep the developers on board to maintain our website. The developers are local.

Is this advisable? Or is it better as a long term plan to rather work on building a strong maintenance team and lean on them in the medium term going forward? An internal maintenance team has HR issues attached and the fact that employees resign and recruiting thus retraining might be a factor.

If you advice building a technical team how many years of trade restraint is advisable in the tech world? My business idea is unique and is not in practice where I am hence the restraint of trade.

Hugh Proctor Founder of LayrCake Low-Code Software Outsourcing

September 26th, 2017


I'm going to slightly disagree with creating your own dev tech team, if you've never had any experience in managing tech devs. Imagine, if you will, owning a car, then needing a mechanic to maintain your car and deciding to hire them full time to look after your car, wash it and tell you how the car is 'feeling'.

Managing people is tough; managing people of whom you have no idea and simply no way of knowing if or how they are doing their job is a time and stress cost that you don't really want.

You also probably will find that finding good skilled people is very hard and very very competitive; cheap people are cheap in this business because they're not good. The development company will end up ripping you off by charging you ridiculous £50+ an hour to fix a couple of words that they misspelled, so it does pay to get someone with morals, though this is usually totally impossible.

You are possibly best on agreeing and signing a contract with your development company for a fixed cost 6 month / yearly based maintenance contract. Budget this in as a fixed cost with additional variable amount for new features or developments, etc.

Also, tech changes each and every year, you might consider looking around at other tech companies and having a chat with them also; different companies have different teams with different pros and cons. So shopping around, listening, Googling and learning about tech industry is always helpful.

Good luck.

Parvez Husein Co-founder and CTO @ Portable Office Company. Exited.

September 26th, 2017

hi treasure...

if the website is central to your business model, then development and maintenance of it must come in house at some point. by central i mean, is it from this site that customers interact with you and the only way to buy your goods and services, if it is, then it must come in house. if it is not, and only a shop window and your customers have to interact with you directly to close sales, then it may not be necessary to bring it in house.

also don't try and split development and maintenance. you'll end up with problems. the two should move together, a bit like a husband and wife !! long-distance relationships are hard to make work !!!

hope that helps... good luck :-)

Elsane Guglielmino Serial Entrepreneur looking For Business Partner

September 26th, 2017

It really depend of your business

Having your own IT team is good if you plan to continuously improve your website and add features along the way for your customers.

If all the features are now developed and your business is not IT focused, it is better to optimize your cost and time by externalizing the IT with a maintenance contract and defined SLA

jingwa laura Ndungakoh BSc holder in Women and Gender, Management. Administrative assistance in RCESD

September 26th, 2017

building your own team is much better, because you do not only reduce cost in the subsequent years but you build individual's skills which is the best.