Blog post

What’s best for your business: build or buy a solution?

In an increasingly digital and multi-channel industry, digital media players are having to make strategic choices in order to increase user engagement and loyalty. However, these decisions are never one size fits all and one decision leads to another. In this article we will zero in on choosing to implement a new software into the overall digital strategy. 

Before implementing a new strategy or software, such as personalization or recommender systems, publishers should decide whether to build their own solution or purchase one. If opting for the latter, they can choose between a standalone best-of-breed software or a single vendor offering. Each option has its own advantages and disadvantages, and businesses should evaluate them based on their specific needs.

Build vs Buy

Businesses commonly face the question of whether to build custom software or purchase an off-the-shelf product. Here are the pros and cons of each option.

Building a personalization software


  • Tailored to specific needs: Custom software can be designed to meet the unique requirements of a business and aren't limited to the decisions taken by someone else.
  • Flexibility: Custom software can easily grow and adapt with the business. As the organization evolves, the software can be modified to accommodate new requirements.
  • Competitive advantage: A custom software solution can provide a unique competitive advantage. It can be built to include features that set the organization apart from its competitors.


  • High development cost: Building a custom software can be expensive, not only in terms of finances but also in manpower. The organization must invest in a team of developers, designers, and project managers to create the software.
  • Long development time: Custom software development can take a significant amount of time. The organization must be prepared to wait for the software to be completed.
  • Lack of expertise: To build something like a recommender system the organization needs to have the right internal expertise to build something that will meet the needs identified. Finding the right talent can be difficult and time consuming.
  • Maintenance and support: After the software is built, the organization must also invest in its maintenance and support. This can be an ongoing expense from a man power perspective but also financial.

Buying a Software


  • Cost-effective: Buying off-the-shelf software is less expensive than building a custom solution. The organization only has to pay for the license, and the software is ready to use.
  • Quick implementation: Off-the-shelf software is pre-built and ready to use. The organization does not have to wait for it to be developed.
  • Support and maintenance: The software vendor provides support and maintenance for the product.
  • Scalability: The software is designed to handle multiple customers simultaneously and provides guarantees that it can be deployed on your channels to grow with you as you increase adoption.


  • Limited customization: Off-the-shelf software may not meet all of the organization's needs. The business may have to adjust its processes to fit the software.
  • Upgrades and compatibility issues: As the software vendor releases upgrades, the organization may also need to upgrade its software. This can be time-consuming and may cause compatibility issues with other systems.
  • Security vulnerabilities: Off-the-shelf software may be more vulnerable to security threats because it is widely used by many organizations.

Multi vs Single Vendor Platforms

When it comes to purchasing software, one of the biggest decisions that organizations face is whether to go with a single vendor or a multi-vendor ecosystem.

Single Vendor Software

Single vendor software provides an all-in-one platform for an organization. This can make management easier and may result in cost savings from discounted packages. However, there are also disadvantages. Vendor lock-in is a major concern, as it can be difficult to switch to a different provider if the relationship sours or if your needs change. Additionally, single vendor software may lack flexibility and customization compared to multi-vendor ecosystems, and may offer only the basics without providing high-quality features.

Multi-Vendor Ecosystem

Multi-vendor ecosystems use software from multiple vendors, offering flexibility and customization. Choosing the best vendor for each need ensures better quality. However, managing these ecosystems can be challenging, and compatibility issues can lead to additional complexity and cost.


Ultimately, the decision of which approach to take is not one size fits all and depends on the unique requirements of your business and the resources available. However, by doing an honest evaluation of two key criteria, buy vs build and single vendor vs multi vendor, your company will start on the right track to meet your business goals.

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