Build vs. Buy

Roll your own auth vs. embed a pre-built identity layer into your app

Build vs. Buy: Key considerations and the advantages of a pre-built identity solution

Every team building a new web or mobile application faces a choice: build the entire application in-house or selectively use out-of-the-box services to make the job easier and faster. Many of today’s successful teams have chosen the latter with services like Stripe and Braintree to offload payments and Twilio to offload communications. A third-party customer identity and access management (CIAM) solution is another such service. A digital identity layer comprised of APIs, SDKs, and out-of-the-box customizable components can serve as building blocks to increase speed-to-market, lower development costs, and focus in-house developers on the core features of the application.

Customer-facing applications—whether they are aimed at consumers or business users—require a common set of fundamental features related to authentication, authorization, and user management. Applications need to support common workflows such as account creation, user login, password reset, account recovery, and multi-factor authentication (MFA) enrollment. Additionally, applications need to accommodate different levels of access depending upon the user.