IoT Connectivity Infrastructure: To Build or To Buy?

Allison Thornton

Connected devices are seemingly everywhere these days - from everyday applications such as personal healthcare devices for seniors that let them age in place; to remote pipeline sensors protecting the environment; to agricultural sensors that let farmers know when to water crops. As such, the Internet of Things is better described as the Internet of connected Things.

And with nearly infinite applications – becoming an IoT-enabled organization is quickly transitioning from being a cool differentiator to becoming a non-negotiable aspect of conducting everyday business. 

As IoT application adoption continues to excel at an exponential pace, the vendor ecosystem is naturally expanding and evolving to benefit businesses with the luxury of choice that was once nonexistent. At the heart of any connected solution is the connectivity infrastructure, and with this luxury of choice, businesses now have the option to build their own infrastructure from the ground up, or purchase an off-the-shelf solution.

Build vs. Buy: Which Should You Pick?

Both the “Build” and the “Buy” scenario for IoT connectivity infrastructure offer distinct benefits, however these must be analyzed with the specific nature of the business in mind. Some of the key advantages of each decision are as follows:

To Build: 

  • Scale – typically speaking, the higher the number of IoT-connected devices being deployed, the more sense it may make to invest in building from scratch.
  • Component Cost – while off-the-shelf solutions can cost up to $600+ per unit, the components needed for a custom solution generally don’t exceed $100 per unit.
  • Intellectual Property – building a custom IoT connectivity infrastructure allows businesses to protect their innovation, prevent competitors from replicating it, and fortify their brand reputation.

To Buy:

  • Time-to-Market – when buying an off-the-shelf product, companies can implement their IoT solution almost immediately as opposed to investing months, or even years, into engineering their own.
  • Technical Resources – in addition to designing a solution piece-by-piece, the “build” scenario also requires internal investments and technical resources to maintain, update, and provide support for their connected devices. When buying a solution, this is all handled by the vendor.
  • Certification – most countries, as well as cellular operators themselves, have unique and specific certification requirements to allow a device to be connected to a network. The certification processes can be timely and expensive – all off-the-shelf solutions are pre-certified for plug-and-play activation.

The Decision:

At the end of the day, the decision to “Build” or “Buy” boils down to each company’s unique business model, resource availability, and overall objectives for their IoT app deployment. As the world’s leading, independent IoT solutions provider – KORE can offer the products, services, and expertise needed to guide businesses regardless of the path they choose. For those looking to build their IoT connectivity solution, KORE offers device certification services, application testing, and a variety of custom design offices to help speed up time-to-market. If buying makes more sense – KORE offers turnkey, bundled IoT solutions for plug-and-play activation. Download our full guidebook for more information.

 KORE Guidebook  Build vs. Buy: Choosing the Right Connectivity Infrastucture for Your IoT  Application

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