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Is the Build vs. Buy Argument Still Relevant?

What integration and security tasks should you take on yourself? Which ones should you outsource to a trusted partner? And what’s becoming the standard solution to integrative data practices? Managing the integration of your healthcare systems can be both a complex and concerning pivot in your business plan. Big Data is a keyword that resonates with members across all industries, but especially within the healthcare industry, which is rich with big data. Through data integration, the seemingly overwhelming amounts of information provide leverage points for the healthcare industry. Data integration is financially beneficial and it allows more room for patient care. But what’s the most efficient way to achieve data integration? Is it best to create or tap into your in-house development team, or is it more sustainable to outsource the majority of IT and development? Larger companies have the tendency to build everything internally, believing it would be damaging to outsource everything. And while some experts recommend a hybrid approach, is that really the best solution for the majority of healthcare systems or hospitals grappling with integration? Let’s examine some of the pros and cons to leaving the responsibility of data integration to an in-house development team versus relying on an outsourced iPaaS company. The Benefits of an In-House Development Team Availability A team of in-house employees is always available, which is paramount when emergency situations arise. Full-time employees are on a salary so the expense remains the same no matter what the demand is. Plus, an in-house team of developers may be more likely to recognize problems earlier than an outsourced team. Culture When a company invests time and money into finding and keeping the right people, a healthy work environment emerges. The employees now have a personal investment in their work and are willing to go the extra mile. In certain situations, like an emergency, going above and beyond is required. Customization Employing an in-house team allows room to mold and train each employee to specific company needs. This investment of time into another individual permits the potentiality of long-term commitments. The Benefits of Outsourcing Specialization & Expertise An outsourced company tends to be highly specialized in what service is needed, whereas a full-time employee may hold a more general knowledge of IT/ development. An external view can increase productivity through solving issues that will no longer impede your core team from evolving your core product. An outsourced iPaaS company will likely be on the cutting edge of technology advancements, training that is incurred at their own expense. Companies with in-house teams will have to pay to train and keep IT personnel up to date, especially on security issues currently plaguing hospitals and big-data holders. Flexibility Outsourcing can offer more flexibility than an in-house employee due to the contractual nature of third-party agreements. Plus, an external view may reveal problems that might not have otherwise been seen, saving clients money by offering a quicker solution. Demand It is easier to find freelancers than developers. It is hard to hold on to full-time employees in this lucrative industry. The effort and time spent trying to create long-term opportunities for employees can take away the efforts needed from accurate business intelligence which in turn slows development. The demand for IT professionals far exceeds supply. How can you decide? It is up to a company to decide whether having an in-house team of professionals or hiring an outsourced team of professionals is best for their needs. There is no one-size-fits-all guideline to building vs. buying. However, it’s worth considering some of the quick-paced needs facing the healthcare industry today, including security, data management, and a shortage of qualified employees. The integration of data in healthcare remains a critical challenge for the industry and healthcare IT technology is a rapidly evolving sector. The shortage of healthcare IT professionals leads to higher outsourcing demands, and outsourcing has a hand to play in mitigating rising healthcare costs and meeting the growing demand for quality care. While a vendor’s or provider’s instinct may be to build, the cost incurred and the lag in cutting-edge technology may do more harm to a healthcare system than good. Impactful data analysis can be achieved through outsourcing on-demand resources when more experience is needed and also through hiring a core of in-house employees. Strategically analyzing your team’s strengths and weaknesses, and supplementing those weaknesses through outsourced technology, is a commonly used approach. Bottom Line Outsourcing and cloud-based technology is rivaling in-house IT teams in its ability to provide better data integration and management, freeing up IT teams to focus on other issues. Read more on the Interoptex approach to data integration here.
Seth Hobgood is CTO at Interoptex.