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Data Streaming Platforms…To Build or To Buy?

Data Streaming Platforms: To Build or to Buy?

What is Data Streaming?

Written By
  • Erin JunioSenior Content Marketing Manager at Confluent

It doesn’t get better than Apache Kafka® for data streaming. Or does it?

Companies in nearly every industry are using Apache Kafka to harness their streaming data and deliver rich customer experiences and real-time business insights. In fact, Kafka has become so widely accepted as the de facto technology for data streaming, that it’s now used by over 70% of the Fortune 500 and 100k organizations globally. Many of your teams are likely working with Kafka on their data streaming projects today!

From customer 360 and next-gen application development, to legacy IT modernization and real-time analytics, Apache Kafka is powering the use cases of the data streaming era. But operationalizing Kafka isn’t always a simple task. As organizations expand their data streaming use cases over time, it can become increasingly costly and complex to manage and maintain Kafka systems in-house – diverting resources away from mission-critical projects.

With that being said, Apache Kafka can be a great start for many organizations looking to get their feet wet with data streaming. However, a strategic and long-term data streaming strategy requires more than simply implementing open source software. To truly achieve streaming proficiency at the level most organizations desire, they need a managed service in the form of a data streaming platform that delivers a holistic set of capabilities required to not only stream events, but also to:

  • Provision and manage data streaming infrastructure

  • Build and secure streaming data pipelines

  • Deploy digital experiences across clouds, geos, and hybrid environments

  • Provide ongoing support and maintenance of the data streaming ecosystem

At least 60% of organizations will depend on managed services by 2025 - SkyQuest Technology

Innovative companies are moving towards managed services at an accelerated pace!

Across technology infrastructure, the use of managed services is dramatically rising. Businesses everywhere are looking to offload operational complexities that aren’t in their core competency and move away from self-managing distributed systems. Data streaming is no different. Rather than spend time and resources to build and self-manage a data streaming infrastructure that relies on open source Kafka, organizations are opting to invest in a fully managed data streaming platform that handles all of their Kafka infrastructure and maintenance concerns for them.

We’ve put together a guide that will walk you through the steps to evaluate your current data streaming setup and needs, and ultimately answer the question: Should you spend time self-managing open source data streaming technologies like Apache Kafka (build), or invest in a fully managed data streaming platform (buy)?

Throughout the guide, we’ll evaluate decision-making criteria across two key pillars:

  1. Strategic Business Impact: How important and strategic is data streaming to your business, and is it essential enough to warrant further investment?

  2. Cost/Complexity: Is data streaming a core competency of your organization? When does it become too costly and/or complex to self-manage the infrastructure and operational requirements of data streaming?

What will the answer be for your organization?

Read the guide to find out!

  • Erin Junio is a Senior Content Marketing Manager at Confluent. She specializes in telling customer stories and distilling technical subject matter into compelling, relatable narratives.

Data Streaming Platforms: To Build or to Buy?

What is Data Streaming?

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