Should You Build or Buy a Cloud Development Platform?

Time to read
February 19, 2024

Key Takeaways

Migrating to the cloud means that you can keep pace with the competition, reduce operational risk and improve scale with the help of innovative cloud solutions. Cloud can be integral to your business, with the ability to package, ship and deploy applications without any upfront hardware investment and commodity services that can be delivered in minutes. But it’s also a complex landscape that requires specialist knowledge to stitch together a developer workflow that enables service iteration into production securely, simply and efficiently.

The question is: should you own the responsibility to build a platform for developers and DevOps to underpin the business services or do you look to the industry to find a solution that meets your requirements?

Free PDF: Building v.s. Buying a Cloud Development Platform

If you’re starting your cloud journey for the first time it may seem like the cloud providers already have everything you need. However, even though there are many independent services you can consume, there’s no defined way of working for your engineering teams, no out-the-box automation stack you can adopt from the cloud vendor and no operating model that you can apply simply.

When you don’t have immediate scale and are in exploration mode, building organically around the developer requirements is the most natural process. You’ll soon find, however, that as requirements keep piling in from different business units, you’ll end up with an operational overhead in the team and a slew of technical debt in its wake. Are the technologies your teams and services are consuming production-ready? Will the technologies meet the SLA’s requirements? And is the team structure and knowledge distribution in place to be able to support them 24/7?

When deciding on what’s best for your organisation, consider whether you have the level of technical expertise and resource that is required to continuously and effectively manage the challenges of maintaining application infrastructure and tooling. And whether your business has the time to invest appropriately in building and integrating technologies to support the application delivery or if you need to ship your application quickly to compete with the market.

It’s ultimately not just the initial build and maintenance of the infrastructure that you need to worry about, but selecting and maintaining the services that support and surround it.

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