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Building vs. Buying IoT Software: How To Know When Buying Makes Sense

Software developers working in a room.

Making a mistake in your IoT product roadmap can cost you months of time and money. That’s just one reason why it makes sense to go with an established product.

- We get this question all the time: Why should I buy IoT software when I can develop my own inhouse?

It’s a good question to ask and, certainly, almost every technologist has the urge to build their own solution. But, here are seven reasons why it often makes sense to buy instead of building your own:

1. Speed to market
It’s likely that your competition is already working on a similar digital initiative and, therefore, time is precious. In this case, you can bring your product to market much faster by opting for an off-the-shelf solution that can be customized quickly. Reducing the time to market means generating revenue sooner rather than later.

2. Pricing is better
Whether you buy software or license it, the odds are that it will cost much less than building your own. Building your own software requires investing large sums of money in developer time. By licensing off-the-shelf software, you save money because the development has already taken place and you pay a fraction of the cost.

3. No need to hire additional labor
Speaking of lower costs, building your own solution often requires your company to hire additional developers. This is especially true if the IoT solution you want to build is specialized and uses technology that’s not well-known. Once the project ends, you’ll need to find things for these employees to do. To avoid this HR problem, it makes sense to buy the software and not worry about the additional labor.

4. We’re subject matter experts when it comes to best practices
When building software, you will inevitably run into a situation where prior experience would be very helpful. For instance, if you proceed to build the software in a way that’s not scalable, it will cost you months of time and money to reverse course and start over. We have likely already seen the situation you will face when you attempt to build your own solution and we can offer advice on the right path forward.

5. You get features not found in inhouse products
When building software inhouse, the requirements are often narrow. That’s great for building a piece of software in response to a specific need. But, off-the-shelf software often comes with additional features and benefits that you probably didn’t think about when writing your requirements.

6. We can support a multitude of devices
Again, you probably didn’t think about supporting devices outside your device eco-system when writing requirements for your inhouse IoT solution. That’s why an IoT platform is very powerful. It’s relatively simple for us to integrate additional devices into the platform, if we haven’t already. This can be crucial to the success of your product. Customers don’t want to have to log into several different software solutions to build reports or manage devices. They would much prefer to log into one platform that can handle as many tasks as possible. For that reason alone, it makes sense go with a platform solution that’s ready for additional integrations.

7. It’s easier to migrate your existing customers to our platform
Similar to what we said above, it’s easier to migrate customers to a platform than it is to migrate them to a single-purpose piece of software. Why? Customers often have several pieces of technology they want to integrate when they move to an Internet of Things product. It’s easier to log into a single platform rather than having to log into several. In fact, they may resist moving to your custom-built software if they feel like it won’t be convenient or productive. Instead, let them migrate to a platform that can meet all of their device needs.

Want even more reasons why it makes sense to go with an established IoT solution? Contact us today for a demo.


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Mike Abernathy is Director of Business Resources at NSCA
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