Should You Buy or Build if You Want Innovation?

Should you buy or build? We all know them, the companies that shout that they want to be innovative within their sector, and want to do the ‘new’ things that are going to get the sector that they are in further and into a new era in some cases. What is interesting to see is that most of these companies lack a lot of basic knowledge about what they need to do to innovate, especially in a technological sense.

If you really want to innovate, and progress technologically, it’s important for a company to let go of the notion that they are for example a ‘car company’. Instead, start thinking as a ‘tech company’ (see this article about Volkswagen as a good example). When you start looking at things this way, you will also notice that you need specific knowledge (for example own developers to progress specific processes further).

If you are still buying your core business software as a package from a supplier, you will in most cases fail at innovating, because you don’t have control over that piece of software. Sure, you could maybe create new integrations with different software packages you use, but the real innovation will not be there.

Real innovation in technology comes when there are people that truly care about your company, and can execute the technical challenges that innovation brings along. This doesn’t mean you should build everything yourself, but you should think about keeping the core of your software in-house and integrate with others.

If your core software product is a CRM, that is specific to your sector, think about building the core of what you need in that CRM. If you keep your core small and open (with building API’s from the get-go), you can make easier decisions when you want to expand this core. Should you integrate with someone else? Or should you expand on that specific core.

The truth is, to truly innovate and get to the next level, you need to build, not buy. 

Enjoyed this blog? You will also like the one I did about voice assistants and their future.

By Amer Grgic

Amer Grgic is the Founder for Livebytes and hosts the Bits vs Bytes Podcast. Interested in all things Technology, Leadership or Business related.

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