In my last blog post, I wrote about open-source versus proprietary and closed wrapper solutions. I focused on what they mean for publishers in terms of transparency, control, and the long-term viability of their business.
For publishers, control should be at the center of their decision. Ultimately, I believe a combination of the best parts of both open-source and enterprise solutions makes the most sense for publishers. It also allows them to maintain control over their auctions. The right solution affects your monetization so publishers should make the decision understanding all angles.
When considering solutions, it is vital publishers consider the benefits of both proprietary solutions and open-source. Then they can weigh the options in light of their available internal resources. Let’s dig into what benefits both types offer and how each solution impacts resource management.
What should a publisher consider?
One question a publisher must ask is, do I want to eventually bring the wrapper technology in-house? Publishers who don’t have technology management in their DNA will have to weigh the costs and benefits of making these kinds of investments. This will require developers, QA engineers, and operations people. All of this in addition to the investments they have already made in yield management and sales functions.
Bringing these functions in-house and maintaining ownership over the technology will yield the most transparency. This will give a publisher more control over their programmatic destiny.
But, what I have observed with many publishers in the programmatic space is that they have a small team that serve as evangelists within the organization. They are usually salespeople, operations managers, or analysts.
In terms of development resources, they have to share them with their direct selling teams who have many responsibilities outside of programmatic. Their obligations include items like site optimizations, maintenance, trafficking of direct campaigns and working on new partner integrations.
For most publishers, the tech side of the business is not in their wheelhouse. Publishers are focused on providing a great user experience and producing high-quality content that will keep their site visitors coming back for more.
The appeal of proprietary solutions
Proprietary solutions can be very appealing. Generally, using proprietary solutions from an outside vendor provides enterprise-level support and ancillary services such as support with monetization strategies and optimizations. In addition, a proprietary solution can be great for publishers that don’t have the necessary expertise, nor the team bandwidth to manage a wrapper solution.
However, with proprietary solutions, publishers may have limited visibility into how the auction dynamics on their inventory function. Moreover, if a publisher sees a benefit to bringing these solutions under their control; with a proprietary solution, it is more difficult (or not possible) to own and independently develop that piece of technology.
To clarify, if you outsource the management of your wrapper to a third party rather than taking an active role in its management you will miss out on the opportunity to develop that skill set within your organization. When a publisher takes an active role in developing its wrapper technology, they begin to function very much as their own exchange.
Managing an exchange successfully is not something that can happen overnight. Growing and owning these skills, with partner support, will allow a publisher to remain nimble and further its independence. Yet, closed solutions can also have a number of costs.
Open-source solution benefits
With open-source solutions, the code is verifiable and a publisher has complete transparency into the auction dynamics. Control rests solely with the publisher, so they manage the tech and have access to the data.
However, this will require effort from the publisher. Resources will be required for initial integrations, upgrading, maintenance, and QA-ing adapters. Additionally, publishers need to build capabilities for aggregating reporting for actionable insights and optimizing partner setups. All of this could easily be more than what a publisher bargained for.
What does this mean for publishers?
The important thing publishers need to realize is that there are costs associated with both solutions. However, some costs are more obvious than others. At the end of the day, publishers need to find a way to be as efficient as possible with their available resources while maintaining as much control as possible.
Open-source solutions with enterprise support, leverage strengths and mitigate risks inherent to the proprietary versus open-source choice. Enterprise solutions for open-source wrappers, such as PubMatic’s OpenWrap, offer publishers the services they require today, while maintaining the flexibility publishers will need for the future.
To learn more about what you should be looking for in an open-source wrapper solution, check out our recent blogs on the topic. If you still have questions, connect with us at one of our upcoming events.