The Advantages of Ready-To-Go Solutions Vs. From Scratch Solutions
Today's organizations face unique problems that defy their current data solutions - issues that may seem unsolvable, having been only partially addressed by past fixes. As data volumes and demand for speed increase, businesses are struggling to fully unlock value from data. This means confronting lingering data problems head-on to gain competitive advantage.
The question becomes how to tap into data in completely new ways, pushing beyond today’s customer expectations and industry norms to prepare for what’s next. Small data-driven gains are not enough anymore. To stand out from competition, companies must leverage data at speeds that redefine what's possible, tackling previously “impossible” challenges in the process.
Not only are IT executives feeling the burden of balancing shrinking budgets and delivering innovation, they are under pressure to “accelerate time to value from digital investments” based on a 2022 Gartner survey as highlighted in an ITPro Today article.
Given this crucial and timely data task at hand, businesses must choose between building a solution from scratch or adopting a ready-to-go solution. In this blog, we will cover how both approaches have pros and cons and can ultimately be beneficial for these modern data challenges.
Build or buy, or a bit of both
Before we begin it is important to note this may not be an all or nothing choice between in-house development and implementing a ready-to-go solution. In many cases, companies may choose to develop or enhance a in-house solution - that is at the core of their business. For example, pricing or point of sale systems may be developed in-house but retailers will leverage a ready-to-go solution for their website optimization. Or a plane manufacturer may have a proprietary engineering system but use a ready-made solution for logistics. Ultimately, companies may choose to build in areas where they have expertise and seek external solutions for other components.
Leverage the latest technologies
Technology is advancing at an unprecedented pace, and creating a solution from scratch often involves a significant investment of time and resources. Sure, organizations want to adopt AI, AR/VR, and have millisecond responses at the edge but each element adds a layer of complexity and another component to update and maintain.
By the time an in-house custom solution is completed, it may already lag behind the latest technological advancements. However, building a solution from scratch allows companies to incorporate the exact technologies they require and make it adaptable for future technology updates. On the other hand, ready-to-go solutions are typically built and updated by dedicated external teams, ensuring they incorporate the latest technologies.
Manage the timeliness of changes and improvements
Technology trends and customer preferences evolve rapidly, requiring continuous updates and modifications to stay relevant. Ready-to-go solutions excel in this area by providing regular updates to ensure security, incorporate industry trends, and enable businesses to effortlessly stay at the forefront of innovation. Companies can prioritize and quickly implement critical updates first when designing an in-house solution.
Consider in-house resource challenges
Developing a solution from scratch requires skilled resources. It is essential to assess whether your organization possesses the necessary expertise and whether your in-house team can dedicate their time and effort to the project. Moreover, even if you have the expertise, it is crucial to consider whether those resources will be available throughout the entire development process and for future modifications.
Ready-to-go solutions eliminate this concern as they come with dedicated support teams who ensure the solution's smooth functioning and provide assistance when needed. It is important to note that ready-to-solutions will require some in-house resources for usage and maintenance.
Accelerate implementation and time-to-market
One of the primary advantages of ready-to-go solutions is their rapid implementation, allowing organizations to seize opportunities quickly as opposed to waiting months or even years. As a McKinsey article stated, “Visit a future-ready organization and you’ll observe that speed is both a preoccupation and a cultural bias.
Often the vendor selection process for a ready-to-go solution can cause delays, or finding the right fit may be difficult. Budget cuts can also affect the purchase process and put it on hold. However, ready-to-go solutions can cover a specific problem that can validate ROI before larger investments or lengthy selection processes.
Developing in-house takes time for planning, hiring, and infrastructure decisions. But companies can accelerate by prioritizing critical components first and taking a phased approach from pilot to company-wide launch. They can also utilize developer tools to speed up building a custom solution.
Avoid rip and replace or “patchwork” solutions
Most data centers have millions to billions of dollars in proprietary systems, off the shelf software, equipment, cloud, and service contracts. The ecosystem complexity cannot be unraveled, reworked, and optimized in weeks or months.
Some existing systems may be providing exactly what the organization requires or may just need a few enhancements. Providing a point-in-time enhancement as a patch may have a limited shelf life. If developing in-house, companies need to create enhancements or new features that can scale or are easily adaptable if needs change.
Rather than start from scratch, or create a temporary fix, ready-go-solutions allow organizations to choose the most critical areas and provide a way to accelerate business outcomes, modernize their platform, and set the stage for future innovation.
Integrate seamlessly with current systems
Businesses require fast data synchronization and analysis to drive better business results, even with complex system architectures. A 2019 market report indicated poor integration can cost companies 500K a year. A complicated maze of in-house, point solutions, and partner systems can contribute to poor performance and an incomplete data view. Companies building in-house can work to ensure seamless integration given their familiarity with the architecture.
A recent Forbes article stated new solutions "should enhance or retain positive interactions" across customer touchpoints. Ready-to-go solutions must integrate across mission-critical applications, suppliers, and partners in real time. They can also bridge multiple systems with less manual effort, quickly providing a complete data view and insights.
Connect across touchpoints with APIs for real-time data
APIs power our interactions everywhere - from ordering coffee to booking flights. They can provide quick access to new technologies and better customer experiences, like an omnichannel SuperApp. High-performance, seamless API integration allows for real-time data processing and analytics to deliver fast and relevant customer responses.
However, APIs can be difficult to implement with legacy systems or partners, and require robust security. Data synchronization and architecture challenges can slow down performance. Edge computing, caching, efficient replication, and a multi-model database approach can accelerate API speed and remove bottlenecks.
This may prove challenging for in-house implementations, but using best practices can help boost API speed. Choosing a ready-to-go solution with high-performing APIs to integrate current systems may provide faster business results.
Tailor to meet unique requirements
The main benefit of building in-house is that companies can construct the solution to their exact specifications. They can still utilize outside components where beneficial, like website performance. In-house builds allow businesses to focus on core objectives and customer needs. Proprietary technology also provides a competitive advantage, like Netflix’s recommendation algorithms.
While some argue ready-made solutions lack flexibility, many offer extensive configuration options and customization. Providers recognize the need for tailoring to individual business requirements. This flexibility allows for adapting the solution to unique needs while benefiting from the ready-to-go foundation.
Scale and provide resilience
Businesses today require scalability and resilience and can benefit from ready-to-go managed solutions designed for growth and fluctuating demand. This eliminates infrastructure investments while ensuring performance - crucial for organizations in areas with severe weather risks or power issues. It also minimizes the need to manage multiple cloud providers to eliminate downtime, or pay heavy egress charges when data spikes.
Planning ahead for higher computing power and data storage that can scale and support fast performance times is critical for in-house implementations. These organizations also need a plan in place to ensure resilience and robust security measures.
Focus on new business innovations
By adopting a ready-to-go solution, organizations can redirect their resources and attention towards core business activities and innovations. Instead of dedicating substantial efforts to the development and maintenance of a custom solution, businesses can concentrate on creating new value for their customers. This strategic advantage enables businesses to stay agile, responsive, and ahead of their competition. This where the gold is truly is - focusing on how you will be meeting customers’ needs today and tomorrow.
Conversely, if companies choose to build in-house they can make sure a portion of their development cycle or resources focus on innovation. They can also include innovation planning as part of their development and maintenance timelines.
Map your success with ready-to-go or in-house solutions
The most important considerations for ready-to-go solutions or in-house development is what is the underlying technology foundation and is it flexible enough to scale and adapt as needs evolve and technology changes. The other important factors are accelerating time-to-market, maximizing performance, and managing complexity.
In-house development may take time to build out a team of experts and resources as well as equipment or architecture, but companies can tailor the solution for their exact requirements. Companies may choose to develop or enhance systems that support core competencies in-house for proprietary advantage and choose ready-to-go solutions for areas where they require outside expertise.
Ready-to-go solutions can offer a faster time-to-market and can offer the latest technologies to quickly deliver a competitive advantage. They are also easier to maintain and are usually updated by the vendor, requiring a lot less in-house effort. Not all ready-to-go solutions are created equally, so let’s explore a few possibilities at the edge.
How a hyper distributed cloud solution provides an “edge”
The traditional centralized cloud isn’t the only answer in our fast-evolving digital world. Macrometa Global Data Network - a hyper distributed cloud platform - leverages over 175 points of presence worldwide to deliver ultra-low latency for ready-to-go or customized solutions. Here are some of the key Macrometa industry solutions that transform customer experiences and boost profits.
Create the ideal eCommerce customer journey:
- Make websites up to 100x faster with performance optimization
- Optimize search results with full-text search
- Enhance user tracking in a "cookieless" future with fingerprinting
- Improve personalization and deliver “spot-on” recommendations
Next Generation OTT Video Streaming:
- Hyper-targeted ad cohort mapping lets you serve millions of viewers in real time
The best of both worlds - learn more today!
Macrometa’s solutions can address previously “impossible” industry challenges and quickly show a return on investment. Organizations can also choose to build solutions on the Macrometa GDN. Learn more about it by talking to a solutions expert.