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Top 5 questions: Build or buy data integration?

Martino Corbelli Martino Corbelli on 13 June 2019
2 minute read

Should you build your own data integration tool, or invest in a third-party cloud data integration solution?

It’s a critical question for any organisation looking to implement effective data integration – and one we are often discussing with our customers. Now, we’ve put together an e-guide to help you decide: “Top 5 Questions: Build or buy data integration?

Some of the considerations that may help you determine where you are on your data management journey are highlighted below.

What internal resources are available to run, develop and monitor a solution?

Small or medium sized businesses may well have the internal resource to either code their own scripts or use simple tools bundled with applications. Volumes and complexity are low, and this approach lends complete control of the project. However, demands on such a solution are likely to change with business growth, and self-coded scripts can easily become less useful, unless you have significant in-house resources to call on.

How many source systems need to be integrated?

This is all about understanding the scale and scope of your project – not just today but in the future, as your organization develops new data sources and applications. Your ability to handle the project internally will depend to a large degree on the number and format of the source systems you are working with.

What are the respective data formats that need to be accessed?

Multiple data formats may mean a more complex project, as there is more transformation to do between them. The greater the volume and variety of data you are working with, the greater the possibility for errors and slowdowns when using a hand coded solution.

What are the target systems for the processed data and the desired outcome?

As with any IT project, it is vital to understand at the outset where you want to get to. The desired outcomes will dictate how you assess the choices of either an in-house developed tool or a third-party solution?

What budget is available, and should you build your own tool or buy a product?

Cost is always a key consideration. A DIY approach to data integration is perceived to be cheaper upfront, and you can tailor the project to your budget and resources. You won’t have time to develop any unnecessary or unused features, so the final tool is fully utilized. However, the cost of maintaining and supporting an in-house development can ultimately end up larger than expected. Cloud solutions like iPaaS, mean that there is no large capital expenditure up front as you are subscribing to a service, and therefore shifting the budget to an operational expense.

Build or buy? - You decide!

Ultimately, if you have simple data flows, it may be possible and cost effective to manage those with a DIY tool. Many household names started off with home grown IT, before then purchasing more robust and feature rich systems as their businesses and needs grew. The trick is to identify the stage in your organization’s development where it makes most sense for you to switch to an off-the-shelf solution.

Our guide and the top 5 questions listed inside will help you determine what’s right for you and when.

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Martino Corbelli
Martino Corbelli

Martino Corbelli, Chief Product Officer at SPINR explores how integration-Platform-as-a-Service (iPaaS) technology can simplify the data complexities barring the way to digital transformation.


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Should you build your own data integration tool, or invest in iPaaS? Now, we’ve put together an e-guide to help you decide!

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