Live from Gartner Symposium: When to Buy vs. Build Your Own Solutions

Innovation. It’s one of those IT buzzwords that polarizes organizations. While the idea of innovating is often considered an important aspect for organizational growth and development, it’s also known to never get a foot off the ground.

Think about it. You and your colleagues spend countless hours developing a business plan for your latest and greatest IT solution only to have it nixed by co-workers or upper management or both.

What went wrong? Often, it’s necessary to take a step back and ask yourself, “Has what I’m trying to accomplish already been done by someone else?”

If so, you’re better off buying those services than reinventing the wheel yourself.

During his presentation today at Gartner Symposium, Alexander Pasik, CIO of IEEE, reiterated this point during his session, emphasizing the need for responsible IT innovation.

“In the role of CIO … for as long as the industry has been around, one of the critical questions is buy vs. build. … When you build, the immediate question you have to ask yourself is, ‘Why do I have to build this?’”

His reasoning is simple: If there’s already professionals out there focusing on this specific need, why are you going to spend time and resources to do it yourself? Allow that vendor to develop and update it for you so your staff can focus on true innovation – building your own applications to solve business problems that have never been addressed by others.

“This is the opportunity in innovation in IT,” Pasik explained. “ We can deliver something that is valuable to use. Short-term, we don’t have to justify revenue [to internal stakeholders] because we need it, but if we do it right, we can build a business model and generate revenue off of it.”

The benefits are two-fold. Not only will these strategic solutions solve your immediate needs, but it could transform your IT department into a revenue center, allowing others with the same need to benefit from your creation.

Now that’s innovation everyone can get behind.

Katie Alberti

Katie Alberti is the product marketing specialist for integrations at Hyland, Creator of OnBase. She joined the company in 2012 as a content strategist and spent the last few years focusing on marketing OnBase for back office departments. Prior to joining Hyland, Katie was a writer and reporter for nearly 10 years, covering state and local news. She received her bachelor’s degree in magazine journalism from Kent State University as well as her master of arts in teaching, integrated language arts curriculum and instruction.

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