EMS: Why choose to buy over build?

The use of digital energy management and optimization systems greatly benefit businesses aiming to be more sustainable and efficient. In fact, they allow you to monitor, regulate and optimize your production processes, resulting in great cost and time savings. 

For this reason, a growing number of industrial enterprises are looking to upgrade to an EMS, however they are faced with one major question:

is it better to outsource an EMS or to build one in-house? 

In order to help you make the best decision for your own priorities, we have put together a list explaining the main advantages of opting for an external EMS.

5 reasons why you should buy an external EMS

1 -  It can be adapted to fit your needs

Certain enterprises choose to build their own data management and visualization softwares because they believe that there is no solution in the market that aptly fits their needs. However, external softwares are flexible and can successfully be adapted to your specific requirements (IT infrastructure, plant digitalization level, and energy maturity) as well as your growth

In working with businesses of various sizes, engineers and data scientists working on external EMS platforms can answer your needs but also anticipate changes and provide solutions when your business is growing. For example, third party EMS teams consider the required current and future interoperability of the tool (for instance if your plant decides to install a new system to collect and centralize data). They also keep on top of required updates of the tool when new technologies come onto the market, or when there are new security risks

 

2 - It is faster and cheaper to implement

Very often, industries who create internal software will spend a lot of time, resources, and power only to end up with a result that is similar to solutions that are already on the market, but less robust and with fewer benefits. Once businesses realize this, it is too late to go back, or incredibly difficult to change direction

Creating an internal software means hiring a team of people who must be focused on the project. This requires knowledge that is usually not the main expertise of the people within the business unit, whereas it is the core business of solution providers.

A digital solution provider often guarantees a more innovative solution which is also faster to implement, and has already been tested with many different clients. To stay competitive it has to stay on top of market trends to constantly improve the solution. Efficiency is not an option, but a necessity. 

Opting for an external solution that meets the company’s needs can be installed much faster at a much smaller cost. From our own experience we have seen in-house projects take three to four years to create, whereas an external solution can take weeks to implement. Consequently, third-party software is more scalable and flexible. This allows businesses to focus on their original expertise and to concentrate on what they do best.

 

3 - It allows you to focus on your core business

While you may have in-house talents and resources to create your own internal software, the energy required to create, improve, and protect it are vast. By outsourcing these tasks, you will be able to focus on your core business and increase your ROI. If you outsource a software solution, which is based on robust technology and being supported by human experts every day, you will be able to optimize your own process, improve productivity and accelerate growth. 

 

4 - It requires less specialized training

If your in-house experts who have built your internal software leave, they may take a lot of specific and detailed knowledge with them. This means that it will take a long time to train other in-house personnel who will be dedicated to maintenance, development, and more. This can set your own solution back as it can fall behind and become vulnerable to security risks. With third party softwares, training is required, but requires less specialized knowledge so that they can more easily be leveraged by people at all levels in the company.

 

5 - It is more secure and up-to-date

Developments in relation to security issues are rapidly evolving and in some fields it’s difficult to insource know-how. In order to be more competitive and take advantage of the digital transformation of their industries, manufacturers must open up to the outside world. In other words, security risks can best be reduced thanks to the use of third-party solutions

Outsourcing your software and its security services means that there is a dedicated team with relevant knowledge who can continually improve and update these services so that they are as safe as possible. Furthermore, third-party EMS solutions are subject to constant external evaluations like security audits so they can be identified as trusted intermediaries. 

In conclusion, while building an in-house EMS is possible and can be suitable for a number of specific enterprises, opting for a third-party solution is more advantageous for manufacturers who want fast, concrete and scalable results.

On the same note, a decade ago, groups were wondering whether to implement their own CRM solutions, but now there is no question that the best solution is an outsourced one. The benefits that external SaaS solutions bring have become obvious, especially in the EMS solutions market.

Would you like to talk to an expert about whether you should build or buy?