In the bad old days (pre all the aaS’s) enterprise architecture revolved around build versus buy. The crux of the decision was – does this capability provide us significant and lasting strategic competitive advantage and therefore justify the “build” choice?
Today, the cost of “buy” is arguably hirer than ever before – with SaaS per user pricing and recurring contracts, and the cost of “build” is lower than ever before with IaaS and PaaS solutions driving down the cost of development and maintenance.
Moreover, with more companies offering services over the top of product as strategic competitive advantage (e.g., Zappos, Apple Genius Bar, Prime Now, Telemedicine, Online School Access, etc) the old “front office” out of the box best practices solutions aren’t worth buying unless you invest in making them serve your service differentiation.
All of that, taken together, means enterprise architects need to be thinking about the optimal mix of:
- Rent (SaaS/IaaS/PasS)
to enable and sustain durable competitive advantage in an evolving marketplace.