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Build It, Buy It, or Open Source: The Software Dilemma | @DevOpsSummit #DevOps #OpenSource

How do you know when you should build software or buy it?

Build It, Buy It, or Open Source: The Software Dilemma
By Matt Watson

One problem that all developers and companies struggle with is trying to decide if they should "build it" or "buy it". Software developers love to build things. That is what we do! Their natural reaction tends to lean towards building things. We are also always up for a new challenge.

How do you know when you should build software or buy it?

There are very good reasons for building or buying software. There are also good reasons to use open source projects, which is a third option!

Some things you never want to build
I started my last company in 2003. In the early days of that company, I decided that it was easy enough to store customer credit card numbers in a database table and process them via Authorize.net. Simple stuff, right?

Billing systems always seem simple. Until you have to figure out how to handle if someone cancels in the middle of a billing cycle, switches plans, free trials, discounts, and a million other little things that add up to a nightmare.

What we did at my last company was also way before PCI compliance. The idea these days of even touching a credit card number sounds like a terrible idea. Plus, in my new company Stackify, our billing needs are much more complicated.

In my opinion, the last thing you ever want to build is a billing system.

Open source is another option
A few years ago, I was talking to the CTO of a really large software company. I was actually having a whole conversation with him on this topic of build vs buy. Because they had so many employees, they felt that it was cheaper for them to build software rather than pay expensive licensing fees for every one of their employees. They had thousands of developers. Hiring a couple more was no issue to them.

He said they went as far to build their own version of Excel. This literally about knocked me out of my chair. These days there are lots of Excel alternatives, such as OpenOffice, Google Sheets, etc. OpenOffice is free and definitely a good alternative. I think they went down the path of writing their own spreadsheet software before free alternatives like OpenOffice came to market.

These days, perhaps they are a major contributor to OpenOffice. This is why open source products like OpenOffice exist. It doesn't make sense for someone to make their own version of Excel, but it might make sense to work with several other companies as a community to build an open source solution.

These days, developers use a huge array of open source tools to actually build new software. Virtually every programming language, including .NET, is now open source.

percentage of developers are open source

Source: GitLab

There are also a lot of open source monitoring tools that developers can use.

Should you build your own application monitoring stack?
In the old days, most people used the open source monitoring tool Nagios for just about everything. Not because it was good, but because everyone used it. These days, monitoring has morphed in two directions: application monitoring tools vs infrastructure monitoring tools.

Infrastructure monitoring is still pretty simple. It is primarily based on monitoring servers, storage, firewalls, and other hardware. Some also support monitoring key metrics from things like SQL, Redis, etc. Using Nagios, PRTG, Zabbix and other tools are pretty sufficient for a lot of people.

Application monitoring is much more complex because it requires several sources of data. This includes basic server monitoring, metrics from your application runtime, application logs, application errors, and code-level performance data.

Building your own application monitoring stack is hard because it requires so many pieces. To build your own, you would have to combine things like Nagios, Graphite, Elasticsearch, StatsD, and Sentry. You would still need add an APM solution to the mix to get the code-level performance data.

Trying to correlate problems across all the tools and keep your entire team trained on all of them is nearly impossible. These are key reasons why so many development teams are signing up for Stackify Retrace. We combine all of these key features into one application monitoring platform. Retrace is also extremely affordable, which makes it a no-brainer decision.

When do you build vs when do you buy?
Most people would say that you never want to build anything unless it provides strategic value to your company. Like most companies, we use products like Google Analytics, Zendesk, Hubspot, billing systems, appointment booking software, chat, and other things. Trying to build any of these would be a pretty huge waste of time.

Sometimes you do need to build things though. A friend of mine has a company that relies heavily on partners to sell his software. He needed a really good way to distribute information to these partners and keep them organized to sell his software. Having success with these partners was mission critical to his go-to-market strategy.

After doing some research, he couldn't find any off-the-shelf solutions to manage these partner relationships. He had to build it. It was very strategic to his success. The product he built around managing partners ended up being so successful that it turned into a second software service that he could sell!

Can you build it and sell it?
I know someone else that has a business that buys a lot of concert and sports tickets and resells them. They buy them all with credit cards, which causes them to accumulate a massive volume of credit card points. To help optimize the value of the points, they figured out how to sell them for a premium. As entrepreneurs, they decided to make a business out of that.

This same entrepreneur sent so many tickets with UPS and Fedex that he also figured out that many times they were not being delivered on time. If the shipping carriers don't deliver on time, you technically are due a partial or full refund of some form. They also spun this out into its own business.

For some companies who are run by very entrepreneurial leaders, building something in house could lead to a new profit center!

Four reasons to never build your own software

1. More to support
One of the great analogies I learned from a coworker is that every line of code that you write is another line of code you have to forever carry around with you. You have to support that code. It weighs down your backpack as you are trying to climb the mountain.

2. Time vs money
What is your time worth? If you can spend $100 on a 3rd-party component to send FTP files or something, why spend many hours writing your own version? Spend a few bucks on something that you know will work and you also don't have to support.

3. Opportunity cost
Opportunity cost is another big factor. What could you have gotten done that would have made a big difference to your company?

4. Quality is important
I could easily write my own version of a lot of things. But the quality of it would never be the same. Someone who wakes up everyday focused on creating the best X in the world is always going to do provide a much higher quality solution than I would cobble together.

Conclusion
As software developers, we love to build things. It is in our blood to say "yeah, I could build that". Building things that are not of strategic value can be a distraction and definitely take away your opportunity to work on something else that could have been very strategic.

One good reason to build something in house is if you think you could sell it to other companies. Smart entrepreneurs are always looking to solve problems and build businesses. Learning first hand how to solve problems that others have is a good way to start up a new business.

Working with other companies on open source projects is another great solution. Building your own version of Elasticsearch would be a huge undertaking. Forking it or submitting a pull request with a new feature would be a great idea.

The post Build It, Buy It, or Open Source: The Software Dilemma appeared first on Stackify.

CloudExpo | DXWorldEXPO have announced the conference tracks for Cloud Expo 2018, introducing DXWorldEXPO.

DXWordEXPO, colocated with Cloud Expo will be held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, and November 6-8, 2018, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA.

Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DXWorld Expo within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term.

A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of business. Only 12% still survive. Similar percentages are found throughout enterprises of all sizes.

Cloud Expo | DXWorldEXPO 2018 New York
(June 5-7, 2018, Javits Center, Manhattan)

Cloud Expo | DXWorldEXPO 2018 Silicon Valley
(November 6-8, 2018, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA)

Full Conference Registration "Gold Pass" and Exhibit HallHere (Register ▸ Here via EventBrite)

DX World EXPO, LLC., a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo has announced its conference agenda, with three major themes:

* Technology - The Revolution Continues
* Economy - The 21st Century Emerges
* Society - The Big Issues

"DX encompasses the continuing technology revolution, and is addressing society's most important issues throughout the entire $78 trillion 21st-century global economy," said Roger Strukhoff, Conference Chair. "DXWorldExpo has organized these issues along 10 tracks with more than 500 of the world's top speakers coming to Istanbul to help change the world."

There are 10 tracks running throughout the event and following the major themes. More than 500 breakout sessions will be featured, along with keynotes and general sessions from some of the world's top technology, business, and societal leaders. The event will be held over five days in Istanbul, reflecting the global nature of Digital Transformation and the city's long and historic role as a key business and intellectual center and linchpin between East and West.

Full Conference Registration "Gold Pass" and Exhibit HallHere (Register ▸ Here via EventBrite)

DX World Expo's Global Themes and Tracks are as follows:

Technology - The Revolution Continues

DX Tech: Data-Driven Global 2000
DX Tech: The Blockchain Challenge
DX Tech: AI and Cognitive
DX Tech: The Global Cloud

Economy - The 21st Century Emerges

DX Econ: Software is Rewriting the World
DX Econ: Smart Cities, Nations, and Regions
DX Econ: FinTech and the Token Economy
DX Econ: The Industrial Internet and Industrie 4.0

Society - The Big Issues

DX Society: Environment
DX Society: Education
DX Society: Agriculture
DX Society: Health Care

Call for Papers -speaking opportunities- as well as sponsorship and exhibit opportunities will open on November 1, 2017.

World's Most Important Tech Event
DXWorldEXPO® will be the world's most important tech event with 1,000 exhibitors in its first year and 2,000 exhibitors in its second year, as it guides Global 2000 companies through their Digital Transformation journey for the next two decades. The global event is set to launch September 17-20, 2018 in Istanbul. It will be sponsored by Fortune 50 companies, and more than 30 international banks will be among sponsors of its FinTech/InsurTech track.

Gaining a better understanding of customers and acting upon this information is the foundation of Digital Transformation (DX) in the enterprise. Applying the latest technologies in this area is the key to driving new topline revenue opportunities.

Global 2000 companies have more than US$40 trillion in annual revenue - more than 50% of the world's entire GDP. The Global 2000 spends a total of US$2.4 trillion annually on enterprise IT. The average Global 2000 company has US$11 billion in annual revenue. The average Global 2000 company spends more than $600 million annually on enterprise IT.

Governments throughout the world spend another US$500 billion on IT - much of it dedicated to new Smart City initiatives. There are more than a dozen Global 2000 companies in Turkey, including Isbank, Garanti Bank, other financial institutions, Turk Telecom, Turkcell, Turkish Airlines, and ENKA.

Cloud Expo | DXWorldEXPO 2018 New York
(June 5-7, 2018, Javits Center, Manhattan)

Cloud Expo | DXWorldEXPO 2018 Silicon Valley
(November 6-8, 2018, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA)

Full Conference Registration "Gold Pass" and Exhibit HallHere (Register ▸ Here via EventBrite)

More Management Quotes
"For the past 10 years at Cloud Expo, we've helped drive the migration to modern enterprise IT infrastructures, built upon the foundation of cloud computing. Today's hybrid, multiple cloud IT infrastructures integrate Big Data, analytics, blockchain, the IoT, mobile devices, and the latest in cryptography and enterprise-grade security," said Fuat Kircaali, Chairman and founder of DX World Expo, LLC.

"As a report from the World Economic Forum and Accenture recently stated, 'Companies need to fundamentally change the way they identify, develop and launch new business ventures.' We agree," said Carmen Gonzalez, president of DX World Expo, LLC.

"Digital Transformation is the key issue driving the global enterprise IT business," said Roger Strukhoff, Conference Chair and Executive Director of the Tau Institute for Global ICT Studies. "DX is most prominent among Global 2000 enterprises and government institutions. Our new event in Istanbul brings together the top companies and delegates from around the world, who are transforming the world."

2018 Conference Agenda and Tracks, June 5-7, Javits Center

Track 1 | Cloud Expo - Enterprise Cloud
Track 2 | DXWorld Expo - Digital Transformation (DX)
Track 3 | The API Enterprise | Mobility & Security
Track 4 | DevOps | Containers & Microservices
Track 5 | Cognitive Computing | AI, ML, DL
Track 6 | Big Data | Analytics
Track 7 | IoT | IIoT | Smart Cities
Track 8 | Hot Topics | FinTech | WebRTC

Cloud Expo covers all of these tools, with the most comprehensive program and more than 120 top world-class speakers throughout our Industry presenting Keynotes, General Sessions, Breakout Sessions along eight focused tracks, as well as our signature Power Panels. Our expo floor brings together the world's leading companies throughout the world of Cloud Computing, DX, and all they entail.

As your enterprise creates a vision and strategy that enables you to create your own unique, long-term success, learning about all the technologies involved is essential. Companies today not only form multi-cloud and hybrid cloud architectures, but create them with built-in cognitive capabilities. Cloud-native thinking is now the norm in financial services, manufacturing, telco, healthcare, transportation, energy, media, entertainment, retail and other consumer industries, as well as the public sector.

Cloud Expo is the world's most important, independent event where technology buyers and vendors meet to experience and discuss the big picture of Digital Tranformation and all of the strategies, tactics, and tools they need to realize their goals.

Full Conference Registration "Gold Pass" and Exhibit HallHere (Register ▸ Here via EventBrite)

Only Cloud Expo brings together all this in a single location:

  • Cloud Computing
  • Big Data & Analytics
  • Software-Defined Infrastructure
  • Industrial IoT
  • Industry 4.0
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Cognitive Computing
  • Microservices
  • Machine Learning
  • DevOps
  • WebRTC
  • FinTech
  • Digital Transformation

Attend Cloud Expo. Build your own custom experience. Learn about the world's latest technologies and chart your course to Digital Transformation.

21st International Cloud Expo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world.

Download Show Prospectus ▸ Here

Full Conference Registration "Gold Pass" and Exhibit HallHere (Register ▸ Here via EventBrite)

Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterprises are using some form of XaaS - software, platform, and infrastructure as a service.

With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend 21st Cloud Expo, October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, and June 12-14, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.

2018 Conference Agenda and Tracks, June 5-7, Javits Center

Track 1 | Cloud Expo - Enterprise Cloud
Track 2 | DXWorld Expo - Digital Transformation (DX)
Track 3 | The API Enterprise | Mobility & Security
Track 4 | DevOps | Containers & Microservices
Track 5 | Cognitive Computing | AI, ML, DL
Track 6 | Big Data | Analytics
Track 7 | IoT | IIoT | Smart Cities
Track 8 | Hot Topics | FinTech | WebRTC

Cloud Expo | DXWorldEXPO 2018 New York
(June 5-7, 2018, Javits Center, Manhattan)

Cloud Expo | DXWorldEXPO 2018 Silicon Valley
(November 6-8, 2018, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA)

Full Conference Registration "Gold Pass" and Exhibit HallHere (Register ▸ Here via EventBrite)

Download Show ProspectusHere

Every Global 2000 enterprise in the world is now integrating cloud computing in some form into its IT development and operations. Midsize and small businesses are also migrating to the cloud in increasing numbers.

Companies are each developing their unique mix of cloud technologies and services, forming multi-cloud and hybrid cloud architectures and deployments across all major industries. Cloud-driven thinking has become the norm in financial services, manufacturing, telco, healthcare, transportation, energy, media, entertainment, retail and other consumer industries, and the public sector.

Cloud Expo is the single show where technology buyers and vendors can meet to experience and discus cloud computing and all that it entails. Sponsors of Cloud Expo will benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities through:

  • Featured on-site presentation and ongoing on-demand webcast exposure to a captive audience of industry decision-makers.
  • Showcase exhibition during our new extended dedicated expo hours
  • Breakout Session Priority scheduling for Sponsors that have been guaranteed a 35-minute technical session
  • Online advertising in SYS-CON's i-Technology Publications
  • Capitalize on our Comprehensive Marketing efforts leading up to the show with print mailings, e-newsletters and extensive online media coverage.
  • Unprecedented PR Coverage: Editorial Coverage on Cloud Computing Journal.
  • Tweetup to over 75,000 plus followers
  • Press releases sent on major wire services to over 500 industry analysts.

For more information on sponsorship, exhibit, and keynote opportunities, contact Carmen Gonzalez by email at events (at) sys-con.com, or by phone 201 802-3021.

The World's Largest "Cloud Digital Transformation" Event

@CloudExpo | @ThingsExpo 2017 Silicon Valley
(Oct. 31 - Nov. 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA)

@CloudExpo | @ThingsExpo 2018 New York
(June 12-14, 2018, Javits Center, Manhattan)

Full Conference Registration "Gold Pass" and Exhibit HallHere (Register ▸ Here via EventBrite)

Sponsorship Opportunities

Sponsors of Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo will benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities through:

  • Featured on-site presentation and ongoing on-demand webcast exposure to a captive audience of industry decision-makers
  • Showcase exhibition during our new extended dedicated expo hours
  • Breakout Session Priority scheduling for Sponsors that have been guaranteed a 35 minute technical session
  • Online targeted advertising in SYS-CON's i-Technology Publications
  • Capitalize on our Comprehensive Marketing efforts leading up to the show with print mailings, e-newsletters and extensive online media coverage
  • Unprecedented Marketing Coverage: Editorial Coverage on ITweetup to over 100,000 plus followers, press releases sent on major wire services to over 500 industry analysts

For more information on sponsorship, exhibit, and keynote opportunities, contact Carmen Gonzalez (@GonzalezCarmen) today by email at events (at) sys-con.com, or by phone 201 802-3021.

Secrets of Sponsors and ExhibitorsHere
Secrets of Cloud Expo SpeakersHere

All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors - connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades.

With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @CloudExpo | @ThingsExpo, October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, and June 12-4, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.

Delegates to Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo will be able to attend 8 simultaneous, information-packed education tracks.

There are over 120 breakout sessions in all, with Keynotes, General Sessions, and Power Panels adding to three days of incredibly rich presentations and content.

Join Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo conference chair Roger Strukhoff (@IoT2040), October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, and June 12-14, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, for three days of intense Enterprise Cloud and 'Digital Transformation' discussion and focus, including Big Data's indispensable role in IoT, Smart Grids and (IIoT) Industrial Internet of Things, Wearables and Consumer IoT, as well as (new) Digital Transformation in Vertical Markets.

Full Conference Registration "Gold Pass" and Exhibit HallHere (Register ▸ Here via EventBrite)

Financial Technology - or FinTech - Is Now Part of the @CloudExpo Program!

Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming 21st Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, and June 12-14, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will find fresh new content in a new track called FinTech, which will incorporate machine learning, artificial intelligence, deep learning, and blockchain into one track.

Financial enterprises in New York City, London, Singapore, and other world financial capitals are embracing a new generation of smart, automated FinTech that eliminates many cumbersome, slow, and expensive intermediate processes from their businesses.

FinTech brings efficiency as well as the ability to deliver new services and a much improved customer experience throughout the global financial services industry. FinTech is a natural fit with cloud computing, as new services are quickly developed, deployed, and scaled on public, private, and hybrid clouds.

More than US$20 billion in venture capital is being invested in FinTech this year. @CloudExpo is pleased to bring you the latest FinTech developments as an integral part of our program, starting at the 21st International Cloud Expo October 31 - November 2, 2017 in Silicon Valley, and June 12-14, 2018, in New York City.

@CloudExpo is accepting submissions for this new track, so please visit www.CloudComputingExpo.com for the latest information.

Speaking Opportunities

The upcoming 21st International @CloudExpo | @ThingsExpo, October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, and June 12-14, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY announces that its Call For Papers for speaking opportunities is open.

Submit your speaking proposal today! ▸ Here

About @CloudEXPO and @DXWorldEXPO
SYS-CON Media (www.sys-con.com) has since 1994 been connecting technology companies and customers through a comprehensive content stream - featuring over forty focused subject areas, from Cloud Computing to Web Security - interwoven with market-leading full-scale conferences. The company's internationally recognized brands include among others Cloud Expo® (@CloudExpo), Big Data Expo® (@BigDataExpo), DevOps Summit (@DevOpsSummit), @ThingsExpo® (@ThingsExpo), and DXWorldEXPO® (@ExpoDX).

@CloudExpo® and @ThingsExpo® are registered trademarks of CLOUD EXPO INC.

DXWorldEXPO® is a registered trademark of DX WORLD EXPO LLC.

Read the original blog entry...

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