The subscription industry is growing at a fast pace, and technology is crucial in driving transformative changes.

For tech leaders of fast-scaling brands, there’s always one big challenge: allocating engineering resources to focus on product innovation while struggling with the limitations of inadequate in-house recurring billing systems.   

At Recurly, we’ve helped thousands of businesses launch and scale subscription business models effectively–and we’ve included all the secrets in a technology transformation guide that equips you with the necessary knowledge and tools to overcome challenges, drive innovation, and achieve sustainable growth in the subscription economy.

In this article, we’ll review the content of our guide, Technology transformation: How to scale subscriptions. Get your copy now, so we can walk together through the content:

Building vs. buying: When to let go of internal subscription billing

Recurring billing is a fundamental part of your product offering but isn’t your core business.

While technology teams often understand your core product, it's challenging to focus on it– factors like internal billing, payments, tax, and security solutions demand attention and detract engineers from your main objectives.

Additionally, legacy billing infrastructures can struggle to scale effectively, resulting in slower response times and compromised performance. The limitations make it harder for engineers to build upon them, with inflexible developer tools that delay time-to-market. 

Finding the right balance between managing this context and innovating in your core is key to growth. Letting go of internal billing allows you to redirect valuable resources to your product instead of the burdens of building and maintaining an in-house platform.

Innovate & adapt: How to re-organize for success

Investing in subscription management software gives you a solution for your current and future needs, effortlessly scaling alongside your growth objectives.

When investing in the right partner, look for developer-first solutions that make scaling more efficient, cloud-native solutions with cost-effective benefits, and tech leaders that can successfully balance innovation and development.

Letting go of internal billing: Costs & considerations

When building your own solution, the total cost of ownership and the strain on IT resources can be staggering. According to CIO, ongoing maintenance and support costs are often much more significant than initial costs over the product's lifetime.

Building your platform also demands substantial resources–time, effort, and resource commitments. So, making the case for partnering with a subscription and billing management platform can be challenging. 

To ease the process, we’ve gathered a set of fundamental questions–included in our Build vs. buy checklist–to measure your business’s current state and ability to continue investing in recurring billing and payments technology:

  1. Do you have enough developer resources? 

  2. How will you handle billing?

  3. Can you afford the upkeep and upgrade costs?

  4. Can you integrate with external systems?

  5. What is a realistic timeline for building a solution?

  6. What gateway(s) will you partner with?

  7. How will you keep payment details up-to-date?

  8. Can you offer alternative payment methods?

  9. Can you stay PCI compliant?

  10. How will you handle payment fraud and chargebacks?

Successful subscription & billing software implementation

Technology leaders look at subscription management software as a foundational building block. The ideal tech stack is the optimal mix that allows you to hone in on driving your business forward while offloading the things that aren’t core to your business. 

A third-party solution like Recurly is a commitment to success and a worthwhile investment. But don’t just take our word for it. Here are two of our success stories when building vs. buying recurring billing services. 

Scentbird’s renewed billing

Scentbird is a subscription service for perfumes and colognes. After running into price, performance, and technical support issues with their previous third-party subscription management software, Andrei Rebrov, CTO, decided to partner with Recurly to transform its architecture and improve the customer experience.  

Findmypast’s digital transformation

Findmypast is a genealogy website based in London that allows customers to reconstruct family stories and revive long-lost memories. Greg Jenkins, Head of Product, realized the technology of the in-house solution was limited, negatively impacting overall business performance. After partnering with Recurly, Findmypast has eliminated experience frictions that burden customers. 

Want to learn the after-implementation outcomes? Download the Technology transformation: How to scale subscriptions guide to get the results. 

Innovate & grow–get the guide today!

Imagine your business's growth possibilities if all your resources were dedicated to fostering innovation and enhancing your product.

Our guide shows you how to navigate the complexities of subscription technology with actionable insights and strategies to: 

  • Know when, why, and how to let go of internal subscription billing 

  • Reorganize technological infrastructure to support scalability and innovation

  • Understand the considerations and long-term advantages of a third-party recurring billing service