SAAS: Considerations of Buying vs. Building

Should my company buy enterprise software or build it in-house? The decision to build your own software systems is a complex one. It requires a decision-making process that businesses are familiar with: Should I hire in-house employees or outsource the work? Just like outsourcing, there are some perceived limitations. In today’s SaaS landscape, a platform is almost always a better business decision than building one yourself, as long as you can find the right partner for the job.

Consider this scenario:

  • You have a specific software need.
  • You have a desire to build it.
  • You have technical know-how OR you can outsource to build you a customized solution.

Perceived pros of building:

  • We will save money in the long-run.
  • We will own the software.
  • We can customize it however we want.
  • We will avoid recurring fees.

Four Things to Consider When Determining Build vs. Buy

Recurring costs.

Even if you develop your own software, you will incur recurring costs such as, data center, VM or server costs. Even if you use cloud services like Amazon AWS or Microsoft Azure, you will incur fees to support the software that you build.

Additionally, some plugins that your development efforts use may require license fees. Many of the plug-ins used to embed functionality require annual fees for updates and support.

If you’re using your own data center then you will need to incur added costs associated with power and bandwidth to run your software.

Core competency.

Is software design and development in your core competency? If so, is designing and building your own platform going to yield you the ROI to justify the development time and costs?

Maintenance.

Building your own platform isn’t a one-time job. Technology is constantly being updated, new firmware releases are being deployed, devices are being upgraded and technology standards are constantly changing. Every time a change happens, especially with network infrastructure equipment, you will also need to test full functionality prior to deployment of an update. There is constant maintenance involved. Finding a partner that is committed to excellence will offer you a competitive edge with regular feature and functionality updates, and allowing your team to focus on what matters most.

Opportunity cost.

There is basically zero opportunity cost involved with buying software. When building in-house, your teams will be distracted from pushing the primary business objectives forward. Instead, lean on trusted partners to meet your SaaS needs.

GoZone has developed several platforms that are used globally to provide comprehensive user data and detailed analytics. We use a tightly developed integration with virtually every brand of enterprise-grade WiFi access points and network gateways. There are some great reasons to partner with GoZone for your WiFi analytics needs instead of trying to build it on your own:

  1. Time to market. Our platforms are ready to go to market today.
  2. True white label. Our platforms are fully white labelled including domain URL’s, graphics, plan options, 3rd party integrations, mail servers, and customer support knowledgebase.
  3. Cost. Our costs are flexible and we offer fixed-rate and usage-based bulk pricing. For the cost of a VM, you can have your own solution in a matter of days.
  4. Constant updates. Our development staff is constantly adding new features, making changes as the hardware and other technology changes. Ask to see our platform release notes.
  5. Custom features. Yes, our team will create custom features that are specific to you. Ask your rep for details on creating a statement of work for time and cost estimates.
  6. Uptime. We proudly maintain 99.99% uptime.
  7. U.S.-based. Our HQ, support and development teams are all based in the United States.
  8. AWS infrastructure. Our platforms are built using the latest infrastructure technology at Amazon AWS data centers.
  9. AWS HA services. High availability and scalability are paramount to us. We leverage many of AWS’s advanced technologies such as managed RDS, Elastic Search and Kinesis.
  10. People. Our team lives and breathes WiFi analytics – it’s in our DNA. Our team becomes an extension of your team.

If you’re interested in speaking with our team about a partnership, let’s talk. We’re here and ready to help you tackle your next big move.

Author: Todd Myers, CEO, GoZone WiFi

I’ve founded and built tech companies since the late 1980’s. As a forward-thinking entrepreneur, I almost NEVER had the “bleeding edge” software tools I needed to help me fulfill my missions. I didn’t have the luxury of buying, so I hired top-notch development and engineering teams to build what I needed. With that in mind, we always built knowing that it could benefit others as well, so several of my companies have white-labelled our software platforms so others could benefit as well.

I founded GoZone WiFi with the same philosophy and I’m happy that many leading service providers use one of more of our three powerful platforms to help fulfill their missions. Even with the mass adoption of SaaS and “cloud-based” services that are available, I run into a company that is thinking about building versus buying. I wrote the following article to help those companies take pause and consider the long-term commitment that they’re making.

The #gozonewifi team lives and breathes WiFi data and analytics. #wifi is in our DNA and we are constantly improving and producing quality feature sets for our customers. Most importantly, we are solving problems and are passionate about it! #saasbusiness #wifimarketing #wifihotspot #analytics #wifisolutions

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