In the long-running "Build Versus Buy" debate, rarely do the analysts consider the enormous differences in the value of ongoing software maintenance. Every HORIZON LIMS user benefits by the collective wisdom of thousands of other HORIZON LIMS users. By contrast, internally-developed LIMS rely on the experiences of a limited set of stakeholders within the context of a single laboratory's operation and customer needs.
To see how this is borne out in the real world, consider the breakdown of all modifications distributed to the general user community in the v11 release of HORIZON. Of the 569 software modifications included in this release, 141 were enhancement ideas/requests originating from customers, only 4 of which were considered “new features.” In other words, 98% of customer requests are for enhancements to existing functionality/features. The remaining 428 modifications include general product improvements (e.g., error correction, performance, usability, simplification), changes for compatibility/certification with other third-party software (e.g., operating systems, database versions, Java releases, etc.), and feature enhancements originating primarily from the Sales, Services, or Development teams.