Build or Buy: The HR & IT Integration Dilemma

This is a three-part series over the next three weeks discussing the factors to consider when deciding to build integrations in-house or buy them


Should You Build or Buy HR Integrations? Navigating the HR Tech Labyrinth

The global HR technology market is booming, and with a projected value of over $34 billion by 2025, the stakes have never been higher. But as the saying goes, with great power comes great responsibility.

From a valuation of $23.98 billion in 2022, it's set to soar to a whopping $39.90 billion by 2029, growing at a dynamic 7.5% CAGR.

Evaluation of the HR technology market in billions of dollars

Enter the realm of HR integrations, where organizations are grappling to find a sweet spot between customization and operational efficiency. Let’s shed light on this intricate maze and help you make an informed decision.

The Integration Dilemma

Every People Ops and IT team knows the drill: juggling between multiple systems, each with its unique data format. The more the systems, the more convoluted the web becomes. And the more time spent on manual data syncing, the less on strategic HR initiatives. It’s not just about time; it’s about missed opportunities and, often, errors that slip through the cracks. 

The "Build" Argument

The siren call of in-house development is hard to resist. Think about it: a system tailored to your company's unique needs, built by the very people who understand its intricacies. Your IT team, with their fingers on the pulse of your enterprise's tech heartbeat, seems the natural choice for such a mission-critical task.

But here’s the rub

  • Unforeseen obstacles are common on the journey of navigating the tech world.
  • Keeping up with constant updates requires dedicated time and resources for continuous training.
  • System glitches and integration hiccups are to be expected, even with the best team.
  • It's not just about building, but also about the ongoing cycle of maintenance, troubleshooting, and updating.
  • Each step in this cycle comes with its own set of costs, both tangible and intangible.
  • Even when companies have dedicated teams for different HR systems, they often struggle to keep up with the increasing demands on their time and resources.

The "Buy" Perspective

As we embrace 2023, the tech panorama is shimmering with innovation. It's not merely about plugging a hole; it's about choosing a vessel that sails smoothly with the tides of change. Specialized platforms today aren't static; they're living entities, adapting and growing in tandem with industry shifts.

Let’s talk about some lesser-known reasons why buying an HR integration may be the way to go:

  1. Cost-Effective Solution: Sure, the upfront cost of purchasing a platform is higher than taking on in-house development. But, don’t forget about ongoing maintenance costs and potential glitches that can disrupt operations and lead to additional expenses.
  2. Risk Management: When you build your own integration, you're exposing your company to a higher risk of system errors, data breaches, and other vulnerabilities. Custom integrations often lack the comprehensive security and monitoring features that specialized platforms provide.
  3. Focus on Core Business: As someone wise once said: "The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing." Your enterprise's core business shouldn't be building HR integrations; it should be growing and thriving. Leave the heavy lifting to the experts.
  4. Streamlined Processes: Specialized platforms come equipped with customizable bots that can automate processes like onboarding, candidate application review, and more. This boosts efficiency and frees up your team's time for value-driven tasks.
  5. Expert Support: When you buy an HR integration, you're not just purchasing a platform; you're gaining access to the expertise of a team dedicated to providing seamless support. No more waiting on your internal team's availability or scrambling for solutions when things go haywire.
  6. Future-ProofTechnology: In-house integrations often lack scalability and flexibility, which can be detrimental in today's tech landscape. Purchasing a specialized platform means future-proofing your integration and avoiding the need for constant updates.


At its core, the build vs. buy debate boils down to a simple question: how much are you willing to risk? Dive deeper, and the merits multiply. Imagine a fortress of security, safeguarding your employee data. Envision a vigilant sentinel that offers real-time oversight, ensuring every data transaction occurs seamlessly. 

Picture a system that doesn't just notify but preemptively alerts, mitigating potential hiccups before they escalate. This isn't a mere transaction; it's a commitment to tranquility. In the turbulent seas of HR tech, it's the anchor that offers stability and serenity.