• Sean Cogan

Build vs buy: why IT teams are hesitant to embrace data automation


In my last blog post, I talked about how business and IT teams rarely speak the same language, and that getting everyone on the same page is critical if business teams want to get the data (and the insights from that data) they need.


But it’s important to acknowledge the different incentives of each team, and address any concerns without causing a wide chasm between the two.


One of the major sticking points between IT and business teams is timing. Business teams want actionable data right now, if not last week. Because without this, they are not making data-driven decisions, they are simply guessing. And a few wrong guesses can lead to a lot of lost revenue.


IT teams, meanwhile, typically want to build a data asset in-house. They believe they can create a data automation and aggregation solution in a way that allows them to keep control of the governance while adding long-term value to the enterprise. They are concerned that outsourcing their data automation will result in reducing their role in the organization and ultimately put their jobs in jeopardy.


Here’s an example. When we had a conversation with a large-scale enterprise trying to get a handle on their data, the IT team slowed down the deal, for fear of losing control of their data. They wanted to build an ETL solution in-house and believed they had the resources to make it happen.


The business teams, meanwhile, were not willing to wait for at least 6-9 months, if not longer, to get the insights they needed. Every month, week, and even day they spend guessing on their decision-making, they are losing money and putting revenue at risk.


One large company I know of spent over a year to build their own solution but couldn’t get it done, largely because they were constantly playing catch-up as their incoming data grew exponentially along with API changes. Once they switched to a data automation solution (yes, they used Switchboard), they were up and running in 60 days.


The trick for us was explaining to IT teams that they would not lose their jobs. In fact, the five senior IT people ended up doing much more satisfying work, rather than continually fixing broken APIs. And, crucially, they did not lose control of their data governance.


So, it really is critical that your IT teams understand that automation will not put them out of work. It will allow them to do better work and leave the manual tasks to automation. Leave the automation and API fixes to the robots and embrace automation.


To find out more about how Switchboard can support rather than jeopardize the tech team, connect with me today at sean@switchboard-software.com.