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In Order to Build, You Sometimes Have to Buy

Like many companies, Entech is faced with constantly evaluating business and technology solutions in the market. Whether our customers need new features, or our development teams need to be nimbler, or we’re on the forefront of developing new industry trends, finding the right technology is key. The timeless question in finding the right technology continues to be, ‘When do you build versus when do you buy?’

With the ever-accelerating rate of technology in today’s world, our approach to how we evaluate this age-old dilemma needs to evolve at a faster pace, while simultaneously leveraging more data points. The continued growth of fintech companies and open source technologies, and more importantly, their acceptance across the various industries, is constantly challenging the software landscape. As a technology-oriented company ourselves, Entech’s default position historically has been to build our own solutions; it’s in our DNA as technologists. At times, this is a necessity, for the purposes of building and retaining intellectual property, but in most cases, we simply like the challenge of building our own solutions to complex business problems. Our thought process and business needs have to evolve, as the industry has, to ensure we are making the right choices for our customers.

In order to quickly evaluate these needs, and create balance within our solution approaches, we created a series of questions to quickly determine when you should build your own solution or when to purchase an existing solution to better fit your needs.

  • Does a reliable solution already exist in the market?
  • Does the solution have a reasonable support and licensing cost structure (at scale)?
  • Can you easily host/support an existing solution if needed?
  • Can you easily integrate an existing solution if needed?
  • Does leveraging an existing solution enable you to go to market faster?
  • Does leveraging an existing solution reduce your development/hosting costs?
  • If you build your own solution, would it be simple for others to replicate or overtake?

If you answer ‘yes’ to any number of these questions, purchasing an existing solution may be the right decision. As the technology industry continues to move towards cloud-native and microservice-based technologies, the cost of integration for existing solutions into your technology ecosystem will continue to decrease, leveraging concepts like Open APIs. While buying a product may have an initial cost, the return on investment can pay exponential dividends, compared to the time, cost, and risk of building a solution from scratch.