Building Your Own vs. Buying from a Provider

Andile Khumalo
Which integration approach is better for your business?

Years ago, the most common approach to integration was to do-it-yourself (DIY), mostly because Integration-Platform-as-a-Service (iPaaS) solutions were unaffordable to many businesses. These days, the variety of different iPaaS solutions, their affordability and the increased importance of having IT systems that can communicate with each other, have warranted the increased investment in iPaaS solutions. For these reasons, it is important to weigh up the pros and cons of building data automation solutions in-house or using an iPaaS solution to handle your business’s integration needs.

System integration is an exceptionally expensive initiative for any business to venture into. A 2018 McKinsey survey estimated that $800 billion is spent on integration. This is justifiable because the benefits of integrating systems are significant. When disparate datasets are successfully integrated businesses can:

  • Free up valuable developer resources allowing businesses to focus them on core business applications and needs
  • Unearth previously untapped information  
  • Drive transformational innovation

 Therefore, it is worth making sure that you make the right decision for your business.

Build Integration In-House

Building your own unique integration solution means that your business has complete ownership of every piece of code. You can directly tackle specific solutions for your business's internal processes and end customers’ needs by building solutions in a more specific and handcrafted manner.

Although choosing the DIY approach offers greater solution building freedom, building integration solutions from the ground up inherently means that the responsibility of maintaining those homegrown solutions lies with your business's IT team. As your business matures and the requirements on your DIY solution evolve, the core infrastructure will demand constant updating, upgrading, or replacing.  Your code can turn into long strands of spaghetti as time passes, with the addition of many data sources. Eventually, self-coded scripts can begin to run out of room, and are highly likely to become more complicated to maintain. Once that happens, there is a significantly higher risk for error. The likelihood of your IT team remaining the same for the next 5 years is slim to none. Your developers will come and go, and as a result, knowledge and skill gaps will form which will have a detrimental effect on your business.  

On top of all these challenges, DIY integration solutions take time to build and implement. According to a recent article from SOLTECH, the average custom-built software takes between 4-9 months to build from deployment to implementation. Furthermore, their researched showed 75% of business and IT executives admitted that most homegrown solutions never quite meet the business's requirements. This is because building an integration can take a developer months, sometimes years to complete. Within that time, your business's needs have evolved, and the DIY integration solution that you began 9 months ago no longer meets the new requirements of your business.

Buy an iPaaS Solution

Taking advantage of a tried and tested integration platform is a safer, faster, and more effective solution to your business's short-, medium-, and long-term integration goals. A survey conducted by consulting firm CEB of 200 companies worldwide identified that businesses allocate up to 57 percent of their IT budget towards the maintenance and mandatory compliance activities of their DIY integration solution. With an out-of-the-box integration platform, your business’s IT team will spend fewer resources and less time and effort on creating and automating data management processes. This will free up more of their time and budget to work on core business applications.  

Most integration platforms provide some form of cloud solution that allows less tech-savvy employees to build integration solutions between multiple applications; therefore, the need for a highly skilled development and tech support team to constantly be on standby to take care of simple integration efforts, will drastically be reduced.  

With powerful iPaaS solutions becoming more affordable, mid-market businesses and small businesses that previously would not have been able to afford an iPaaS solution can begin capitalising on their own data and using those insights to transform and improve the way that they operate. Support with building integration solutions is often offered as part and parcel of an iPaaS solution. If you are faced with any integration issues, the support team can help you navigate your way around them. Some integration operations such as sorting, deduplication, reformatting, and debugging are built into integration platforms, which means your IT team does not have to dedicate hours of work building simple integration flows.

Synatic iPaaS Solution

By investing in a modern data integration platform, like Synatic, businesses can rapidly automate large amounts of data to create a unified system that allows each component of the business to communicate succinctly. Businesses now have the opportunity to take advantage of the vast amount of data at their fingertips to jump-start their transformation journeys, allowing them to lay the foundation for a truly innovative business that is ready to drive digital transformation.

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