Build or Buy: Adding Connected Worker Capabilities to Your Industrial Technology Stack
Time to Market / Speed to Outcome
Considerations: SaaS solutions can be pre-configured out of the box to accelerate time to market (TTM) and time to value (TTV). While, internally-built solutions can take several months (up to a year, in some cases) before it gets in the hands of actual end users.
Change Management / Product Adoption
Considerations: SaaS solutions often provide dedicated customer success teams to define and drive not just technical key performance indicators (KPIs) but also adoption goals, based on proven best practices. Whereas, internally-built solutions often rely on multi-tasked teams (IT and functional) to drive top-down success.
Considerations: An internally-built product is likely to incur higher ongoing maintenance costs and higher costs to perform timely upgrades that match changing business needs. SaaS solutions, on the other hand, can amortize their build and upgrade costs across multiple customers.
Extensibility / Breadth of Feature Set
Considerations: SaaS platforms leverage APIs to quickly and easily connect with common core enterprise systems. They also regularly evaluate new players in the space and emerging use cases to determine integration opportunities. While, an internally-built solution might leverage existing business integrations.
Considerations: SaaS solutions are hyper-focused on product-market fit, and are constantly evolving and enhancing their platforms to meet changing needs and address concerns. Whereas, an internally-built solution needs TLC to avoid becoming stale and outdated, and to continue to ensure it is able to address even basic use cases.
User Experience (UX) Satisfaction
Considerations: An internally-built solution requires having someone on your team with a UX pedigree. A SaaS platform has teams of people who focus on conducting user research, user testing and iterative prototyping that leverage common design languages and design patterns for the best user experience.