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Buy vs Build: 4 Questions to consider

When considering implementing a Client Lifecycle Management platform, every financial institution goes through the same decision-making process of determining whether to build a solution in-house or select a solution from a specialized vendor.

Achieving an efficient, compliant Client Lifecycle Management approach is absolutely vital to the health of a financial institution.

There are many elements that work together to create that frictionless experience that customers are crying out for.

Fenergo has encountered the buy vs build discussion many times over the years. So, what are the questions you should be asking before making that decision:

1. Do your internal IT teams have the depth and breadth of regulatory coverage necessary to deliver full compliance for your organization?

FIs that are tasked with onboarding complex legal entity clients are facing three core problems that we call “the perfect storm” – spiralling levels of regulation, siloed and fragmented data management and an at-risk client experience.

Every financial institution in the world is experiencing each of these challenges at some level and there’s no sign of that changing.

An in-house onboarding solution must efficiently manage the onboarding of clients or new accounts in compliance with a raft of existing and evolving regulations and ensure continued compliance through the client’s lifecycle in a way that doesn’t hamper the client experience, time to revenue for the institution or impact future cross-sell or upsell opportunities. This is no small task!

2. Are you able to integrate seamlessly with data providers and trading systems?

An effective solution needs to be able to interact with several internal systems as well as industry vendors and data providers to effectively solve regulatory and data challenges. To enable key Front Office, Client Onboarding and Operations staff to do their jobs, data needs to be collected from a multitude of sources – from entity data providers like Avox, to AML data providers like World-Check and Lexis Nexis, to KYC utility data providers like Markit KYC and Clarient etc.

Whether you decide to build in-house or buy, data and technology integration is the key to keeping pace with regulatory demands and supporting banks to ensure that they are delivering a consistent technology infrastructure for global regulation, the associated data and the end-to-end management of all client lifecycle events.

3. Do you have all of the expertise and capabilities in-house to deliver a best practice solution?

Legacy and core banking solutions can create bottlenecks and prevent FIs from delivering the digital experience their customers need.

The digital transformation agenda is spreading like wildfire in the financial services industry. Financial Institutions are now under severe pressure by a host of traditional and new competitors to deliver a better, digital, streamlined customer experience.

Whether an FI decides to go down the buy or build route, they must adopt a true global approach to compliance and create a consistent steel-thread for how they manage regulations, deliver frictionless digital experiences for their clients, and operate as efficiently as possible. This involves having a team of regulatory and product analysts on-hand to identify threats or opportunities facing financial institutions and translate these into functionality and capabilities in the solutions

4. Do you have the time, resources, and energy to build from scratch?

When choosing the right approach to implementing a Client lifecycle Management system, organizations should consider not only the total cost over the lifetime of the application, but also the ability to innovate and use the technology as a differentiator.

Updating a custom-build software solution can often be complicated, tedious, and time-consuming. Stakeholders need to determine the frequency of expected updates, the resources needed to train staff, and also the ongoing support required to maintain the system.


The decision to buy or build a Client Lifecycle Management solution is a big one. However, the main question you should ask is – can you achieve all of the above on-time and within budget using in-house resources?


About the Author

Niall is the Chief Technology Officer at Fenergo and is responsible for technical strategy, design and architecture. He leads core teams within Fenergo to create solutions that deliver impactful ROI for global financial services clients.

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