Workgrid Q&A: Should You Buy or Build Your Employee Experience Solution

The time has come to revolutionize your employee experience – to turn the status quo on its ear and finally create the consumer-like experiences your workforce has come to expect. But should you build or buy your employee experience solution? That’s just one of the many questions you have to ask yourself as you embark on this journey – and one you have to give very careful consideration to.

In terms of all the planning that has to be done with a project of this scale – getting major stakeholders on board, defining clear objectives, understanding all the components that need to be included (like enterprise virtual assistants), the decision to build or buy arguably has the largest impact on the overall success of the project. It has tremendous repercussions on the initial and long-terms costs of the project as well as time to value, and if the wrong decision is made, your project can be doomed to failure before it even starts.

No pressure though, right?

The good news is, for most organizations, the answer is pretty clear. Here are the top three factors you need to think about as you decide which is the right approach for your organization:

  1. Having a superior employee experience NOW is what will give your business a competitive edge. It will take years to see any value from a custom-built solution that's been done right -- compared to just months with an existing platform. Do you really want to wait that long to see the benefits an improved employee experience can provide? Also, have you considered what a huge distraction a custom build would be for your business?

  2. Expertise is key to the success of the project. With a project of this scale, time = money. Do you have all the staff needed to get started quickly? Are your in-house IT resources familiar enough with each of your enterprise applications to build the connectors? What about resources for training and on boarding? Dealing with the change management that this project entails alone is a full time job -- and that's in addition to bug resolution, building new functionality, dealing with compliance issues, etc. Do you really want to take on the added complexity of hiring new headcount to tackle this?

  3. Integrating with applications is complex and requires ongoing maintenance. Each connector takes months to build and you likely need to build many of them – and that’s just phase one. The initial build is just a fraction of the long-term work an in-house system requires because as solution providers make changes to your core systems, the integrations you built will likely need to be modified to keep the connector working. That ongoing maintenance will come at a cost and it’s an expense that can’t be avoided without significantly damaging the value the platform delivers to employees.

To learn more about building vs. buying, check out “5 Considerations Before You Start Your Employee Experience Initiative.”