Skip to Content

With Codex, the u0026quot;Buy Versus Buildu0026quot;​ Debate Just Got Real

Doug Ross
February 27, 2023

Codex is one of the leading large-language models (LLM) for software development. In a series of tests, Capgemini researchers have been examining the quality of code that this LLM generates. The results have been intriguing.

A Capgemini research team recently created an end-to-end process that transcribed meeting notes into working code. The topic of the meeting was the redesign of an e-commerce website including its features and business capabilities. The meeting participants were product managers, UX experts, and technologists. 

Seconds after the meeting concluded, the researchers’ bespoke platform had:

  • Transcribed voice-to-text
  • Summarized the text into a set of functional requirements for the website
  • Generated the complete skeleton of a working e-commerce site in Python
  • And created a series of test cases to exercise the site’s features such as shopping cart functionality

We believe the ramifications of an augmented Codex platform, such as the one our team created, are quite significant for large enterprises — and IT organizations in particular.

Large Enterprises and Technical Debt

One of the central issues that many large companies face is a mountain of technical debt. As mergers and acquisitions have occurred, some firms have stitched together a labyrinth of systems and applications. Architectural diagrams in these situations can resemble a plate of spaghetti thrown against the wall.

With these legacy platforms, simply keeping up-to-date with security patches, ecosystem changes, and cloud migrations can require increasing levels of IT investment just to “keep the lights on”.

As these run and support costs mount, the budget needed to deliver new business capabilities can get squeezed.

In this case, the business faces a daunting challenge: risk collapse of dated technical infrastructure or spend vast amounts to retire tech debt just to keep the basic business functions healthy and viable.

Codex may change the equation.

The traditional “buy versus build” formula was predicated upon the assumption that building a greenfield application would generally require massive investment. 

But what happens to the business case when the build option is orders-of-magnitude less costly than it was just 18 months ago?

In this fast-moving environment, firms need to reevaluate the “buy versus build” formula on a regular cadence.

Changes to the Very Nature of IT Organizations

Codex likely heralds fundamental changes to the structure and operations of IT organizations. As costs to deliver working code diminish, the ties between business areas and IT must become closer, more collaborative and more adaptive to changing conditions.

Which roles are likely to thrive?

  • Business process SMEs with a deep understanding of front-, middle- and back-office processes
  • Architects who can adapt quickly to change and manage the balance of build versus run
  • Solution Engineers who orchestrate and monitor software implementations
  • Data Scientists and Analysts who can quickly deliver insights from the avalanche of new data sources from novel business processes to IOT, sensors, telematics, ECUs, etc.
  • Emerging technology SMEs who are able to suss out important innovations and quickly map new technologies into applied business experiments focused on driving revenue and margin improvements
  • Organizational Change Management (OCM) experts: as LLMs and related technological advances continue, the most nimble firms will constantly evaluate and enhance job functions, organizational structures, team dynamics and methods for improved collaboration with the business
  • Talent Management: Human Resources functions that support IT must also adapt to the new reality of fast-moving technologies that will change roles, responsibilities and spans of control

Over the last few decades, offshoring and global IT talent pools changed the financial metrics for software design, delivery and support.

Now LLMs are poised to significantly disrupt software economics once again.

Organizations that adapt quickly and efficiently to these changes will be poised to win – and win big – in the new IT reality.

About the author

VP, National Solutions Architect – AI and RPA | USA
Doug Ross is the former CTO at Western & Southern Financial Group, a Fortune 500 diversified financial services company. While there, Ross won a ComputerWorld Premier 100 Award as well as an SMA Innovation in Action Award for innovative solutions that helped the organization open new and highly profitable distribution channels.


    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Slide to submit