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The Pros and Cons of Buying vs. Building Your IoT Solution

The Pros and Cons of Buying vs. Building Your IoT Solution


Congrats! You’ve decided to join the ranks of tech-savvy organizations implementing IoT. Now what? 

It may seem a daunting task once you’ve made the decision. You might feel bombarded with questions, overwhelmed by options.

Take a breath, slow down, and read this first. 

The first decision is to buy a system from a third party or to build one in-house. We’ll walk you through the pros and cons of each.  

1. Monetary Cost

While the cost comparison between building the solution inhouse or purchasing it might seem simple, there are several hidden costs in building a robust IoT solution in-house, including hiring a full-time IoT expert (think about salary, benefits, payroll taxes, training, time to get up to speed) to build and maintain the system, as well as potential hardware cost (to connect the devices to the cloud), and additional costs along the way for upgrades. A McKinsey study of 5,400 IT projects found that in total, they had a $66 billion cost overrun (according to the study, that’s more than the GDP of Luxembourg). 

If you go with a third-party SaaS solution like Spoke AIOT, you’ll receive clearly defined costs that encompass setup, prep, implementation, rollout, and maintenance steps – and we’ll walk you through those steps personally so there aren’t any surprises along the way. 


2. Maintenance Cost

 When you build an IoT solution in-house, you get to create it just the way you want it. However, the downside is you’re on the hook for all maintenance related to the system. This includes the hardware at the edge, to the cloud storage, to connectivity to your field service platform. That means managing the launch, bug resolution, user training, password setup, compliance with industry standards, and building new functionality across three different architectures. All that maintenance likely requires majorly increased bandwidth or extra in-house staff. 

 Now for the SaaS vendor perspective: Spoke AIOT handles all the maintenance behind the scenes and rolls the cost into your subscription fee. Our staff will help launch the platform at your organization, manage maintenance going forward, and push out product upgrades.


3. Time to Value 

Think about the goals for your IoT solution. If you build a system internally, how long will it be before you can make any headway toward those goals? Even just building a version 1.0 of a well-functioning, user-friendly platform can take at least six months to a year. Can you afford to wait that long? That McKinsey study mentioned above goes on to say that “the longer a project is scheduled to last, the more likely it is that it will run over time and budget, with every additional year spent on the project increasing cost overruns by 15%.” 

On the other hand, Spoke AIOT is an out-of-the-box solution that can be implemented in weeks – not months or years. Existing staff can be easily trained and empowered to use it with confidence. 


4. Opportunity Cost

Building an IoT solution in-house is likely going to take away from your company’s core competencies and priorities. The authors of the McKinsey study concluded that “staggering as these findings are, most companies survive the pain of cost and schedule overruns. However, 17% of IT projects go so bad that they can threaten the very existence of the company.” 

Spoke AIOT was built from the bottom-up to meet all of your services needs. Our team of experts will guide you through the process, ensure your time is used efficiently, and we’ll do the heavy lifting of building out your IoT solution so you can focus on your other key organizational priorities.  


5. Control

One of the advantages of building a solution in-house is that you have 100% control over its functionalities and future development plan. On the other hand, you make ALL the decisions. If you’ve ever built anything custom, you know the unique fatigue of choosing a plethora of details in a short time (just think about how slowly the line can move at the lunch rush in a build-your-own meal restaurant!).

Spoke AIOT can integrate with a variety of setups and implementation criteria, all within Salesforce. The easy-to-use helps you get up and running quickly, ready to accomplish your IoT goals. 

Schedule a demo here to learn more and find the path that’s right for you.