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IT decision makers still overwhelmingly opting for homebuilt software over third-party

Firms are still overwhelmingly opting to build their own software services for the likes of project management over using third-party alternatives. That’s according to new research by email provider Mailjet, which suggested that companies were wasting time and putting their security at risk using homebuilt solutions. 

Researchers spoke to 900 decision-maker level IT leaders in the UK and found that 86% of them have developed, or are currently developing, homebuilt technology in their current role. Among the most commonly used homebuilt technologies in the UK are team and project management tools (69%), user data & analytics (64%) and email marketing tools (62%).

The cost of secured technology solutions

Unsurprisingly, IT leaders identified security as one of the biggest risks in implementing either a homebuilt (15%) or an external solution (25%). If large amounts of data being stored on either homebuilt or external solutions becomes vulnerable, businesses could be putting sensitive information in danger, and so security is often highlighted as a top priority for IT professionals.

However, the research also revealed that more IT decisions makers cited the cost of switching (44%) as the main barriers to procuring an external technology solution over the lack of data security (33%), suggesting companies could be putting cost factors before security when choosing their technology. This could be an alarming trend that companies need to reconsider carefully, especially given the on-going cybersecurity issues and data breaches.

Pierre Puchois, CTO of Mailjet, commented, “Security should always be a top priority when making an informed decision between homebuilt tech or procuring an external solution. Any security breach could result in compounding consequences to a brand’s reputation and credibility, not to mention the financial, technical and legal cost of repairing any damage done. As such, it’s imperative to look to third-party certifiers like ISO to verify security and privacy protocols of both your internal or external tools.”

Concerns with performance and time-sink on maintaining homebuilt solutions

Another key risk with a homebuilt solution is performance, ranked as the top risk by 15% of IT professionals. This number falls to 5% for those assessing the risk of external providers. Concerns with performance increase during periods of growth and especially during peak periods of high traffic or high sending volume. For example, the risk of performance issues during Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or a surge in customer growth is much higher than during steady periods.

The research also found that more than half (51%) of UK IT leaders believe that working with in-housed technology tools consumes more time than working with a third party solution, as maintaining an infrastructure that protects your data properly can be a full-time job for a dedicated team. At the same time, 59% of respondents admit they are still looking for the right skills within the team, a common problem given that that high quality and specialized IT talent is difficult to find.

Puchois concluded, “Ultimately the performance of your technology solution falls on both the quality and scalability of your tools and your team. Without a platform that can scale to meet demanding needs, and the necessary expertise within your team to resolve any outages, bugs, or issues, then the performance of your technology will be compromised.”

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