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Data Streaming Platforms…To Build or To Buy?

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.

On that note, we’ve put together a decision tree that will help you evaluate your current data streaming setup and trajectory—and ultimately assess whether a fully managed data streaming platform is a good fit for you at this time. 

Follow the questions below to find out what the answer will be for your organization, and check out our Build vs. Buy guide for a deep dive into the criteria we recommend using to evaluate your data streaming needs.

Build vs Buy Guide Build vs Buy Guide Confluent Cloud Learn more Learn Why

  • 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.

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