Stark & Wayne
  • by Brian Seguin

In today’s age of rapid technical evolution there is a never-ending abundance of code, “Solved” problems, and hacks. With this in mind, can novel code be written without it already existing? Today most technologists don’t focus on writing novel code from scratch, but rather finding a novel string of existing solutions. Maybe this sounds like common sense but if that is the case then why do so many businesses waste resources rewriting, resolving, and recoding things from scratch?

If your business is software, the answer is control, flexibility, and maintaining intellectual property. Most organizations are not software companies and yet they still find themselves wasting resources recreating unnecessary code. Organizations often face the same problem, an undefined process on when to code from scratch, when to incorporate existing code, and when to integrate someone else’s code. For clarification, this decision process is happening in every organization with or without a central process. Many organizations find these decisions happening in distributed and isolated ways that may or may not align to business’s goals.

Potential pitfalls:

Each engineering team is unique, the problems each team faces are unique, and the technical knowledge of the teams are unique. What should not be unique is the process for evaluating how to implement the solution. To simplify this process we will discuss a decision tree ultimately leading to three choices, do we rent, do we buy, or do we build the solution?

To expand we will use the housing analogy. Everyone in their lifetime has asked themselves do I want to rent, buy, or build where I live.

Rent? In the technical solutions space this is most commonly a software as a services solution or SaaS. Renting a piece of software is much like renting your living area:

Buy? From a technical perspective this is often licensed distributions of existing software. Buying a piece of software is much like buying an existing house, condo, or structure in that:

Build? This is where you really want to start fresh because you want everything to be created the way you want it.

Where to start?

Start by ensuring the core business goals and competitive advantages are documented. You can run through a decision tree to break up different areas  of your business. An example decision tree is listed below.


We've got a lot more to say on this subject. To that end, we're launching a new podcast, Rent / Buy / Build. Every few weeks, we'll tackle another component in the Cloud-Native platform stack and answer the tough question: should you rent this, buy it, or build it yourself.

Find more great articles with similar tags podcast rent-buy-build