“Should I buy or build an IoT platform?” Why Is This Decision Important?”

When managers, technical leaders, and developers are evaluating options for their project infrastructure, one of the key questions is “should we buy or build an IoT platform?” This simple question might be the key to your company’s success, but why? Well, the consequences of this decision will follow the business in the mid and long term, so this article will ensure you have the information you need to make the best decision.

What should you look for before deciding if you are going to buy or build an IoT platform?

The first basic thing you could do is to check if there is any Application Enablement Platform (AEP), like TagoIO, which can meet your goals. If your solution requires something specific that no platform in the market can perform, that’s a sign that building your own might be the answer.

Another thing to take into consideration is the cost of the whole development, considering the time-to-market needed to deploy each option, but be wary of hidden costs. Some examples of expenses and activities that are underestimated include: keeping the platform safe from security breaches, constantly improving & developing the solution, fixing bugs as fast as you can, and having a full-time support team available.

Bringing the whole development in-house can be tempting as it gives the feeling of total control and independence of vendors. Nevertheless, this is rarely the case, as today, virtually no company can truly justify the investment to create everything by themselves, as at least some parts almost always need to be done with the help of some partners. Additionally, to invest in building a team to start from scratch and maintain your own platform throughout its lifetime may not be justifiable. In the end, it‘s more about your company’s strategy and vision. Do you want to build such competency around the basic technology,  or do you want to focus your resources on the application side that will differentiate you from your competitors?

Possible scenarios

There are some undesirable scenarios that companies face when they opt to build their own IoT platform: 

 •The team takes more time and resources to design the platform than planned

•Designers and leaders try to narrow down the scope to meet the launching date, ending up with a monolithic solution (not a platform that can be expanded later)

•Leaders figure out that the cost to acquire and keep talent needed to continue improving the platform is higher than expected

•Just when the platform is deployed, the team recognizes that it is already outdated

•It is hard to justify the investment of more resources while the project still has to prove it can achieve the basic ROI 

Want to know more?

In the end, there is no silver bullet to answering this question. It depends on your specific needs, company strategy, and requirements. To help you make a well-informed decision for your business, we’ve created a guide that covers several points you need to consider before deciding to build or buy an IoT platform.

Download the guide that we’ve prepared here, and make sure you’re making the best decision for your business.