The build versus buy dilemma is one that nearly every company debates internally. This discussion often surfaces when the I.T. department wants to consider a purchase for software that either the in-house developers or CIO feels could be done in house. Why pay for what you can do yourself? Unfortunately, life is not that simple. There are a number of variables that should drive this discussion. I’ll share three (3) considerations here and have you refer to the Optimal IdM whitepaper, “Build vs. Buy – Identity And Access Management Solutions”, for a more detailed look.
Is there any distinct corporate competitive advantage to building a solution in-house? As it relates to identity, it’s doubtful that would be the case. Many identity functions are commoditized and provide no distinct market advantage.
Has your company already demonstrated (internally) the aptitude to build, scale and support large scale software development projects? It’s not unusual for a CIO to swear his development staff (who are already overtaxed with other projects and supporting older applications) can build a solution as good or better than a vendor. It’s noble to think of your internal teams that way, but honestly it’s rarely the case. Are you aware that developing an identity solution takes a specific skill set beyond simply a development background? Are you able to hire, staff and retain top talent for development and support? Are you certain you won’t have competing priorities for other in-house development projects? Are you aware of regional regulatory requirements that affect your solution? Are you able to confidentially predict when you can expect full production deployment of your solution? These are just a few considerations.
Is the economics of buying a solution unjustifiable? You could ‘build’ something in house if your needs are very simple; however that’s just not the case in this hyperconnected world. I cannot overstate how important it is to leverage vendor-specific expertise for cybersecurity software. Yes, identity software is cybersecurity software. Identity is the new firewall. It’s the primary touch point for access into your network. Identity is where granular policy should be implemented to allow, deny or challenge each access request.
About Optimal IdM
Optimal IdM offers on-premises, hybrid and dedicated, single tenant cloud solutions. We can have most customers up and running within a few days — sometimes in just a few hours. Optimal IdM supports encryption both in transit and at rest. We provide a full identity solution with concierge services — no federation expertise or specialized skills needed by you. We’ll bring our expertise to your identity issues and help future proof your investment. For more details, download the full whitepaper or contact us to talk through your project.