Should you buy or build your taxonomy?

A taxonomy is a hierarchical list used for classifying things, such as documents and other content and will ensure that they are easier to find and retrieve. Building a taxonomy will ensure that it fits your very specific needs, but it will take a great deal of time, skill, knowledge and budget, any of which could be in short supply. Buying an industry-specific taxonomy will give you immediate benefit and will remove the pain of creating one yourself. It will also be interoperable with other organisations that you may deal with.

The table below shows some of the outcomes from both approaches.

 Purchased TaxonomyCustom Created Taxonomy
CompletenessStarts at a high level of completeness
Ongoing maintenance across multiple clients ensures currency
Long lead time to establish basic coverage
High levels of coverage may be unachievable
Cost of OwnershipHigher initial cost
Lower life-time cost
Initial perceived cost may be low
Higher ongoing maintenance and development costs
Cost of internal/diverted resources
ValueLow risk
High initial value
High risk
Low initial value
High value if successful

Flare’s approach allows you to embed a sophisticated, off-the-shelf taxonomy, and combine it with custom classes to meet any specific needs.  Flare also offers a service to manage your taxonomies, to keep it up to date with industry and technology trends.


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