Buy it, Build it or Partner?

If your business is in a period of growth but doesn’t have the skills or technology in-house to deliver what the future requires, you may be wondering what to do. The usual options when faced with this situation are to buy a solution off the shelf, build it yourself, or partner with a business who can offer it for you. In this article, we’re going to take a look at each option and the pros and cons of each to try and help you decide what is best for your business.

Buying it

The benefits

Depending on the issue at hand, buying in the technology you need could seem like quite an easy option. In general, if you have a reasonably simple issue to resolve and there is software which fills around 80% of your requirement, then it will probably be financially beneficial to buy off the shelf rather than building your own solution. 

Buying a solution also means that you won’t need to upskill any of your staff or bring in additional resources as you will be able to purchase off the shelf from a reputable provider and be ready to go. 

These solutions are usually subscription based so will be updated and maintained externally, saving you the hassle.

The negatives

Purchasing your software in this manner can be expensive, with an additional monthly cost to add to your business expenses.

You will also lack full functionality and it may not fulfil all of your needs (although you may be able to find a vendor who can work closely with you to develop their product and make it a better fit for your business). Either way, this is likely to be frustrating.

The working relationship with the vendor is often strained, leaving you stressed and vulnerable. Finding a suitable alternative isn’t always easy and you risk being an unhappy prisoner in a bad commercial relationship.

Building it

The positives

When you have a more specific challenge, building your own software may be a more attractive solution. This is often the preferred approach as it allows businesses to create personalised technology which meets their exact requirements and married up with existing company applications.

Creating your own software helps to upskill your team and it’s incredibly attractive for a business to be able to build an exact answer to their problem.

Building it – the negatives

Cost is something that needs to be taken into account and closely monitored throughout a software build project, especially since it has been reported that one in six IT projects overrun on their budget by up to 200%. You will also likely need to bring in experts to manage these projects, such as Project Managers and Change Managers, although these can be freelance or contractors to avoid keeping them on post-delivery.

In addition to increasing costs, there is also a risk of scope creep, impacting on delivery times and internal team resources.

It’s also worth remembering that you will also be responsible for keeping the technology updated, something which can be expensive over time as well as hugely time consuming.  Tread carefully – as the old adage goes, if you’re only going to do something once, don’t do it yourself.

Partnering – the benefits

One approach that many businesses don’t always consider is the opportunity to partner with an external company who can provide the solution for them. Whilst internal issues are often specific to that particular business, it’s likely that you’ll be able to find a specialist who understands your need and can adapt their technology to suit your needs; removing the need for you to build the technology yourself and giving them the opportunity to expand their service offering. 

Working in collaboration with an expert in the field will enable you to complete what you are an expert at without worrying about the technology or the associated costs. Choosing a partner with specific sector expertise means they will be able to keep an eye on any new developments in the field, continuing to guide you and bring you the solutions that you need to function perfectly.

How Datam can help your business

Datam offer streamlined and automated solutions for the entire payments value chain for merchant onboarding, allowing you to sign up new customers in 5 minutes or less. We only work in the payments sector and are always keen to partner up with businesses who are looking to speed up their onboarding process and erase inefficiencies. This entirely removes the need for you to buy OR build the technology yourself, whilst still providing an excellent merchant onboarding and sales experience for your customers.

If you’d like to find out more, get in touch with us today.