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The Smart Choice for Conversational AI: Build vs Buy
Artificial Intelligence
Digital Assistant
Digital Transformation

The Smart Choice for Conversational AI: Build vs Buy

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Published on Feb 9th, 2024

In the fast-paced world of digital transformation enterprises face the pivotal decisions of ‘build vs. buy,’ particularly when it comes to implementing a Conversational AI Assistant. Below we take a look at the critical considerations of this decision, highlighting why purchasing an off the-shelf solution is often the smarter choice for most organizations.

Understanding the Build vs Buy Dilemma

When a company decides to implement a Conversational AI Assistant, they stand at a crossroads: should they invest in building a custom solution with in-house development (or PS firm) from the ground up or should they buy a pre-existing, market-ready product? Both paths have their merits and drawbacks.

There is a long history of failed internal application development across all companies:

  • The majority of internal projects run over 189% of the original cost

  • One third of all internal projects will be terminated before they are completed

  • In large organizations, only 9% of internal projects come in on-time and on-budget

(Source: The Chaos Report)

By the Numbers

Data collected across customer deployments and industry reports tells a story of lengthy build times and expensive implementations.

Exploring the Pros and Cons

Building your Conversational AI Assistant in-house can offer some benefits including increased customizations and complete control over the scope, as well as ongoing research and development. But building in-house also brings on the burden of managed support, continuous maintenance, and significant financial investments.

On the other side of the coin, buying an off-the-shelf enterprise conversational AI solution allows for scalability, quick deployment, and ongoing support. While dependence on a vendor can be a challenge, it also means long term support and proven reliability.

Why buying is often the better choice

For most businesses, purchasing a Conversational AI Assistant emerges as the preferable option. Here's why:

Cost and Time Efficiency

Building a bespoke solution is a significant investment. It's not just about the initial development; ongoing maintenance and updates add to perpetual operational cost. In contrast, buying a ready-made enterprise AI solution is more cost-effective, with a predictable expense model.

Access to Advance Technologies

Purchased solutions often come with the latest technologies and build best-practices. Features are added and regularly updated by the vendor. Building advanced capabilities in-house requires substantial expertise, time, and resources.

Focus on Core Business

By opting to buy, companies can focus their valuable resources on their core business operations instead of diverting attention to developing and maintaining a complex AI system.

Reduced Risk

Off-the-shelf products have been tested across diverse scenarios, reducing the risk of failure. In contrast, a custom-built solution bears the risk of unknown challenges and potential inefficiencies.

Access to Advanced Technologies

Purchased solutions often come with the latest technologies and build best-practices. Features are added and regularly updated by the vendor. Building advanced capabilities in-house requires substantial expertise, time, and resources.

Quick Deployment and Immediate ROI

Time is a crucial factor. Off-the-shelf solutions can be deployed rapidly, enabling businesses to see an immediate return on investment (ROI) of their AI platform in a span of hours vs. months/years leveraging in-house development.

Conversational AI for your Digital Workplace

While building a Conversational AI Assistant in-house offers customization and control, the advantage of buying an off-the-shelf solution wins out. The cost-effectiveness, quick deployment, access to advanced technology, reduced risk, and the ability to focus on core business tasks make it a compelling choice for most businesses. As the market for Conversational AI Assistants continues to evolve, choosing a reliable and proven off-the-shelf product is not just about convenience; it's a strategic business decision.

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