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Building an Identity Solution — Quantity Doesn’t Equal Quality

Why adding more developers to an identity project doesn’t always work out as intended

July 28, 2021

Without identity, digital business can’t happen. If you don’t know who’s logging in, you can’t be sure what access to give them. Without a solid identity solution, you’re leaving your front door open, which often leads to data breaches.

The Latin American technology market is booming. According to a study by IDB Lab, the value of the tech-enabled startup market in the region has multiplied 32 times in the last decade, reaching a value of $221 billion in 2020. The increased speed of digital transformation and the expansion of existing markets can lead to business project priorities becoming muddled.

In the rush to get a new site online or to integrate the systems of a recently acquired company, some organizations opt to build their own identity management tools in-house. Others keep their development teams focused on their core product or service while outsourcing identity to an identity as a service (IDaaS) provider.

And still, others will start an in-house identity build only to discover that their development team is missing the specialized skills needed and the project quickly goes over budget or lacks required features. The build vs. buy dilemma is not a new one, but when it comes to the security and privacy of your customer data, Auth0 understands how important it is to get right. We also understand the intricacies of the Latin American market, our founders are Argentinian, and we recently partnered with CLM to expand our offerings and solidify our infrastructure for our customers in the region.

Build vs. Buy: The Basics

Build vs. Buy: The Basics

Comparable to other software development projects, an identity platform can be designed and built by in-house developers, or a solution can be purchased and integrated into existing systems. And as with other projects, both options have their merits. Some reasons an organization may opt to build their own identity solution include:

  • The ability to maintain tighter control over the software development lifecycle (SDLC). By using an in-house development team, the company maintains control of the entire process, from design to implementation.
  • A custom-built solution can be supported by in-house IT teams. To limit access to potentially sensitive information, some organizations prefer to keep support for their tools with in-house teams.
  • Keeping costs down. We’ll address this in greater detail later in this article, but many companies believe that it’s cheaper to do development in-house rather than purchase an out-of-the-box solution. This is especially true in regions with lower costs of living.

On the other side of this discussion, some of the top reasons companies might consider using an identity as a service (IDaaS) provider for their identity management solution are:

  • Keeping speed-to-deployment times down. With the underlying platform pre-built, all that remains for your in-house teams to do is customize your identity solution to your specific needs, and you’re ready to deploy. With an extensible solution like Auth0, this often means a matter of weeks rather than months or years.
  • Sustainable long-term support rests with the solution provider. Your development and support teams have their own sets of expertise; by using an IDaaS provider that includes ongoing support for their product, your teams can focus their efforts on your core product or service.
  • Outsourcing development can reign in unforeseen costs. With a fixed initial purchase price and contracted ongoing subscription fees that are known ahead of time, costs remain stable with the IDaaS option.

Beyond the basics of the build vs. buy question, there are some specific areas to consider when beginning an identity management project. An IDaaS solution should be scalable and extensible to meet your exact requirements. We’ll look at these factors in greater depth shortly. What’s key to remember now is that with these three aspects in place, your identity solution will be able to support your needs now as well as being ready to grow with your company.

What We Mean When We Say, “Quantity Doesn’t Always Equal Quality.”

Along with the booming tech market in Latin America has come a growing pool of development talent. Combined with the lower costs of living and wages possible, too often, this leads to companies mistakenly thinking that they can add more developers to a project in order to resolve issues. While this may work if the issue is one of more code needing to be written faster, for something as specific as identity management, it isn’t always the right solution.

Identity is complicated. A true identity expert will have spent years expanding their knowledge and honing their skills. Unless your developers are already identity specialists, putting more of them on the task of building a solid identity management system won’t ensure that the end product will be secure; it will simply mean the end product gets built faster. Auth0 has been doing nothing but identity since 2013, and in those years, we’ve built up the expertise to be your trusted identity partner.

Let your people focus their attention and effort on what they do best — building and supporting your core product or service. By bringing in the identity pros at Auth0, you enable your teams to do just that while also ensuring that you have a robust identity platform keeping your data secure and your customers happy.

It’s Never Too Late: Making A Clean Transition To IDaaS

Here’s a scenario we see frequently: a company decides to build its own identity management system. They’ve put their best developers on the job, and things have been going smoothly for several months. Then they realize there’s a particular feature needed, like multi-factor authentication or biometric integration, or maybe they found a security issue with the way data is transferred between systems. Whatever the cause, the team is stuck.

Management in this scenario has two basic options: they can tell the team to get back to work and sort it out, or they can press pause on the project until a solution is discovered. While the former may be tempting, it’s the latter option that is more likely to lead to a successful solution being found, especially if at this point they call in an IDaaS provider.

Our scalable and extensible identity platform provides the underlying code, and your team can then use their talents to customize the solution to fit the organization’s specific needs. The scalability and extensibility offered by Auth0 will grow with the company no matter how many acquisitions they make or how many new markets they enter. And our no-, low-, and pro-code options make that customization easy for any development team.

Find The Right Mix of Security, Privacy, and Customer Experience

That mix of security, privacy, and customer experience we talk about is provided by an identity solution that offers scalability, extensibility, and customization. At Auth0, we provide the platform; you tailor it for your needs. Auth0 is built by developers for developers using open standards. That means we play well with others via our robust marketplace of integrations, our application programming interfaces (APIs), and our extensive software development kit (SDK) libraries.

Scalability is easy with Auth0, often a matter of changing a handful of settings. And if the startup you acquire uses cloud infrastructure and you’re on-prem, Auth0 can provide the bridge to close that gap. One log-in can take your users to whichever app they need, no matter how it’s hosted.

We provide a broad marketplace of integrations so you can connect all relevant line-of-business apps with your Auth0 instance. Combine that with our APIs and SDK libraries, and Auth0 can be extended to meet your needs. And we do it while maintaining high-level security for your customer data.

We offer three paths to build out your identity management solution: no-code, low-code, or pro-code. So no matter your situation, there’s a way for you to find the right mix of security, privacy, and customer experience for your organization and your customers.

Think Big

What All This Identity Talk Means For You: Think Big

To claim your piece of the expanding tech market in Latin America, you need the right infrastructure in place. Ensuring your identity needs are met before you move forward with expansion plans is a great first step. Using an IDaaS like Auth0 ensures you have the security, privacy, and customer experience tailored to your needs now and well into the future.

And bypassing the identity tasks to us, your development team is free to focus all of their efforts and resources on continuing to build and maintain your core products and services. Ensuring your business can continue to grow without an outdated or insecure identity solution holding you back.

For more information on how Auth0 can help your organization thrive, read our recent report on the State of Secure Identity, or our whitepaper on the Auth0 Identity Maturity Framework. Then reach out to one of our Latin American experts to continue the conversation.

About Auth0

Auth0 by Okta takes a modern approach to customer identity and enables organizations to provide secure access to any application, for any user. Auth0 is a highly customizable platform that is as simple as development teams want, and as flexible as they need. Safeguarding billions of login transactions each month, Auth0 delivers convenience, privacy, and security so customers can focus on innovation. For more information, visit

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