Building your own web application platform is locking you in
Organizations have been transitioning away from legacy, monolithic platforms as these decades-old IT systems bog down management, flexibility, and agility with their tightly entangled components. CIOs have shifted toward building their own web application platforms with a set of best-in-class tools for more flexibility, customizations, and agile DevOps. This choice, however, isn’t right in all circumstances. In fact, it could be locking you into rigid choices, just like a monolithic platform.
Gartner warns that building your own platform is complex, time consuming, and may not save you money. Independently developing, testing, deploying, and scaling your infrastructure requires expertise, agility, and a shift in team responsibilities. One proven way to ensure a robust, flexible, and streamlined solution is to invest in a standardized front-end platform you can build on. Here’s why.
Building distracts from your core business
Companies (e.g., ecommerce businesses) opting to build their own platform will ultimately find themselves focused on the platform instead of their core business—selling their product. Platform development includes design, coding, testing, securing, and deploying. No platform is a fire-and-forget type of affair.
What’s also overlooked is managing the platform’s non-functional requirements (NFR), such as ensuring maintenance, reliability, visibility, etc. Developing a custom platform requires the expertise of top talent. This talent typically prefers to create, not maintain, so this type of talent is difficult to retain. While you can foster the loyalty of your employees by investing in them—it’s never as predictable as paying a fee for an always-available, all-in-one solution.
Platforms offer predictable total cost of ownership
Large IT projects are hard to execute, particularly when in-house staff is often pulled into multiple directions and distracted by other priorities. This can be costly for organizations: A recent study found that 25 to 40% percent of IT projects exceed their budget or schedules by more than 50%.
Modern platforms, like Edgio’s, are built to unify application tools to lower the total cost of ownership, increase efficiencies, and reduce errors. A comprehensive and streamlined solution can save you from overworking your team to deploy new updates on time and under budget.
In-house innovation can lead to lock-in and employee frustration
A Freshworks survey revealed that nine out of 10 employees are frustrated with their workplace technology, and the majority will consider finding a new employer if they are not provided the tools, technology, and information they need to do their jobs.
Custom platforms are usually cobbled together with different tools from multiple vendors, making them difficult to use. The more customized the in-house platform, the more entrenched the company becomes in it. This limits the ability to adopt new tools, techniques, and technologies to innovate. It’s much like a vendor lock-in with a monolithic platform, but one that was built inside the company.
This, in turn, can cause slower workflows and growing frustration. Over 5,000 DevOps professionals shared details about their processes, and 69% reported wanting more consolidation due to hidden costs, insufficient agility, and the time maintenance takes away from managing security and compliance.
Don’t lose your employees and operational efficiency to ineffective and inefficient tools and workflows.
The multi-billion dollar aggregate investment
Custom platforms are often poorly documented and maintained, and increasingly difficult to use, which increases time to market. This is unforgiving in today’s current economy. In fact, McKinsey found organizations with higher developer velocity outperform competitors in the market by up to five times.
A standardized front-end platform that facilitates continuous integration and continuous deployment (CI/CD), for example the use of serverless functions driven by all the companies using the solution, can drive significant value to each. There are many other companies using the solution, and their aggregate investment will always exceed your potential investment in your own platform. Investing in your own tooling will never scale like that.
To build or not to build?
In today’s rapidly evolving software development landscape, the investment in a robust platform provides a more cost-effective and streamlined solution. It enables companies to focus on their core business objectives and reduce the burden of developing and maintaining customized platforms that limit their ability to innovate.
Companies need to be strategic in their tool choices and recognize the importance of investing in a reliable front-end platform for their web applications that facilitates CI/CD and allows you to build with flexibility.
Edgio operates a globally scaled edge CDN network with a vertically integrated frontend platform for web apps and APIs. Click here to learn more.