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The CIO’s Dilemma: Build vs Buy [with a free vendor checklist]

Generative AI has been making a lot of noise ever since the start of this year. And while it might be a somewhat confusing time for business leaders, it is also a new era in the technological landscape. Generative AI is emerging as a promising solution that can help businesses streamline workflows, automate time-consuming tasks, and make data-driven decisions.

But like with every other technology, CIOs are approaching it with caution. They are caught between investing in building Generative AI capabilities in-house or purchasing existing software available in the market.

We hope this blog will help you make an informed decision!



Developing Generative AI capabilities requires expertise in AI/ML, data science, and software development, which can be resource-intensive in terms of time, effort, and talent.

Buying an existing software solution for Generative AI can save organizations significant time and effort. 

Upfront investment required for in-house development.

The cost of purchasing a software solution is typically spread over a subscription or licensing model, making it more manageable in terms of budgeting.

Building a software requires dealing with multiple technical complexities and rounds of testing. 

Established software vendors have a track record of validated solutions tried and tested in real-world scenarios. They also provide continuous support, maintenance, and updates. 

Organizations may need to hire and retain skilled personnel, invest in infrastructure, and allocate significant time and effort to research, development, and testing.

Established software vendors research heavily in research and development to stay ahead of their competition and at the forefront of technology advancements. They continuously update and enhance their solutions with new features, functionalities, and integrations, providing organizations with cutting-edge capabilities.

In-house development ensures that the software is built exactly to suit the needs of your organization. 

An existing software solution may or may not offer enough flexibility and customizations to tailor to an organization’s specific needs.

Investing in building Generative AI capabilities in-house can divert valuable resources, including talent, time, and budget, from an organization’s core competencies.

By purchasing an existing software solution, organizations can free up their resources and focus on their core competencies, such as their business strategy, operations, and customer engagement.

Anthony Buzzetta, CEO/CIO & Founder, G TIER

Between building our own Generative AI walled garden or selecting an external solution that uses Generative AI; we chose the latter option as it ensures agility whilst benefiting from third-party services such as cloud-hosted applications and ML models. This is good for generating insights from data more efficiently than developing all ourselves. I think critically evaluating each potential solution, then selecting one based on application performance/cost considerations is essential. This is followed by a piloting & adoption process with end users across different departments. This ensures we are leveraging feedback gathered throughout this journey to further improve the application’s capability over time.”

How To Find the Right Generative AI Vendor: A Ready Checklist

The decision to build or buy a Generative AI solution is a critical one for CIOs. Both come with their own set of advantages and limitations, and the final decision will depend on an organization’s specific needs, resources, and budget. But if you do choose to buy, you must carefully evaluate and select the most accurate tool that aligns with your business goals.

Generative AI solutionsIntegration:

Consider the integration capabilities of the Generative AI software. Can it seamlessly integrate with your existing software stack, such as HR systems, collaboration tools, or communication platforms? Smooth integration is essential for a seamless employee experience.

Generative AI solutionsFlexibility and Customization:

Generative AI solutions should be flexible and customizable to suit the unique needs of your organization. Can the solution be easily customized or adapted to your organization’s specific requirements? Does it provide options for parameter tuning, model training, or fine-tuning? A flexible and customizable Generative AI solution can offer more value and enable organizations to tailor the output to their specific needs.

Generative AI solutionsData Privacy, and Security:

Data privacy and security are paramount when working with Generative AI solutions. Organizations should carefully evaluate the data privacy and security measures implemented by the Generative AI solution. Does it adhere to industry standards and regulations? Does it have robust data encryption, access controls, and authentication mechanisms in place? Ensuring that the Generative AI solution is compliant with data privacy and security requirements is crucial to protect sensitive data and mitigate risks.

Generative AI solutionsScalability:

Scalability is a critical factor to consider when evaluating Generative AI solutions. Can the solution handle large-scale data and processing requirements? Does it have the ability to scale up or down based on your organization’s needs? Scalability is essential to ensure that the Generative AI solution can handle the growing demands of your organization without compromising on performance or efficiency.

Generative AI solutionsSupport and Maintenance:

Evaluate the support and maintenance offerings of the Generative AI software. Does the vendor provide regular updates, bug fixes, and technical support? Consider the vendor’s reputation for customer service and responsiveness. Check customer reviews, testimonials, and case studies to assess the vendor’s reputation.

Discover the power of Generative AI to revolutionize your workforce experience with our comprehensive guide tailored specifically for CIOs. Expand your knowledge and unlock new possibilities by diving into our complete resource.

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Bhuvi Kathpalia, author, Leena AI
Bhuvi Kathpalia

A writer at heart, Bhuvi is a content marketing manager at Leena AI. She's helped various brands find their voice through insightful thought pieces and engaging content. When not scandalizing people with her stories, you’ll find her challenging gender norms, dancing to her own tune, and crusading through life, laughing.

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