Make or buy decision – Benefits of third-party software providers

September 2, 2020

If you are planning to integrate scanning functions into your existing mobile app, the crucial question of whether you want to use a software development kit or program the features internally instead will inevitably arise at the beginning of the process. This guide will help you make a decision and demonstrate the benefits of an SDK. 

What does make or buy mean?

Definition: The make-or-buy decision (alternatively called Build-or-buy) determines whether the company itself should create a product or service (make, in-house production) or whether it should be performed by external parties (buy, external procurement). The use of external products is often called outsourcing.

What is the decision rule for outsourcing versus in-house production?

The decision regarding external production versus in-house production is based on a comparison of total costs. The costs for the independent production of the product (= in-house production = Make) are calculated in advance compared to alternative options for purchasing the same product from an external supplier (= external procurement = Buy).

The crucial question: Make or buy? 

At first glance, writing code for the desired functions in-house appears to be the most convenient option: Flexibility, customized features, cost-efficiency, and reliable employees whose skills are known to the company. 

What are the disadvantages of writing your own code?

Definition: Software Development Kit

Before we take a closer look at the various benefits of an SDK, let's first answer the most basic question: What is a Scanner SDK? A Software Development Kit (SDK) is basically a collection of different components for software development. Talking about the Scanbot Scanner SDK, these so-called components include documentation, tools, libraries, and examples. The main advantage is that this package is ready for immediate use and does not need to be created in a time-consuming, independent process. Besides the components mentioned above, the Scanbot SDK also contains an introduction and several use cases. 

Pro buy: What are the advantages of outsourced production?

Now we have to weigh up the various advantages and disadvantages. There are many reasons to integrate a third-party SDK into your mobile app instead of investing time and capital in a proprietary program. Take a look at the various advantages of the Scanbot SDK below: 

Finalizing the make-or-buy decision 

There are numerous fundamental advantages for third-party production, i.e., implementing an SDK in your pre-existing app. Yet, this depends entirely on the use cases one is trying to cover and the resources a company can call upon. 

In summary, however, it can be stated that the development of functions that can compare to an SDK quality-wise and the subsequent test phase take years and thus have significant disadvantages in terms of cost comparison and workload. 

📌 Testing the functionalities of an SDK is an important step in the decision-making phase. Feel free to check out our free demo app and experience our scanning functionalities in action.

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