When it comes to the debate concerning the pros and cons of both all-in-one platforms and best-of-breed systems, there was some contention in the past over which solution reigned supreme. However, in today’s modern technological landscape where businesses across industries have completely revamped the way they structure and utilize their IT products and needs, this is no longer the case.
Overwhelmingly, for most businesses in most situations, the benefits of going all-in on available all-in-one platforms far outweigh the negatives. In short, an all-in-one platform is one that typically offers several functions or capabilities in the format of a comprehensive and integrated package. As opposed to a best-of-breed system, where the system exists in a referenced niche or specific category that forms a highly specialized function, an all-in-one platform offers a far more consolidated technology experience for end users.
Here are three of the numerous benefits businesses can expect when selecting an all-in-one platform:
- Simple integration. By far, the most significant advantage of utilizing a platform is the ability to incorporate easily and painlessly. An all-in-one platform comes with pre-integrated, built-in modules that allow data flow without any additional integration. As such, they have a unified interface across all modules. Even if there are five or six different modules within the platform itself, the overall look, feel, general navigation, and interfaces are similar across the board. This proves highly important when it comes to end-user training.
Without a doubt, this seamlessness across various modules ensures that the system is adopted very quickly across an enterprise. Here, all-in-one platforms vary greatly from best-in-breed systems—particularly in terms of the fact that such systems make an enterprise ecosystem fragmented and most users don’t work in only one singular system. Geared toward an organization that doesn’t want to purchase several different systems and take on the burden of integrating and making those systems cooperatively work together, the platform model provides a thorough package that meets most business needs.
- Built to support change. In addition to advantages when it comes to integration across an enterprise, an all-in-one platform also offers the distinct benefit of being build and designed to support sustained change. In the long-term, this is important to businesses as it equates to less cost investment and effort with each new product release or iteration.
Ideal for businesses utilizing several independent functions comprised in the platform, this option likewise provides greater constancy. A consistent architecture in the makeup of the various capabilities of the platform results in an ease of use for IT departments working with updated versions to current systems. Similarly, a common and established user-interface across functions means that the various products within the all-in-one platform are likely to be easily adapted by users and administrators—resulting in a lack of re-learning or training.
- Easy management and reduction of costs. A final key difference between all-in-one platforms and best-in-breed systems revolves around the inherent cost and resource allocations needed to manage them. An all-in-one platform offer the means of easy management and mainstreamed costs through consolidation of technologies. In this light, businesses can reduce overall costs through direct economies of scale within a platform—especially as the additional cost to implement a module is far less than implementing a brand new, best-of-breed system.
Another benefit of an all-in-one platform is that businesses don’t always have the staff or resources required to manage a best-of-breed system. Most of the platforms these days are specifically designed not to have special training needed in order to operate them. They offer a great deal more in terms of power-user-function-driven capabilities for configuration and setup. As such, the overhead cost to an enterprise, both from an infrastructure and staffing perspective, can be significantly lower with the use of an all-in-one system.
Know What You Are Trying to Achieve
Of course, every organization is different, and the needs and specific requirements of any business should always be at the forefront of thought when considering their choice of solutions. An organization must know what they are trying to achieve, where they hope to go, and how much they are trying, or willing, to adapt.
If an organization is seeking to shift their business processes that may have been developed with best-in-breed solutions in the past, this is still possible with the all-in-one model. Whereas the integrated package of functions in the platform work for most business needs, there are some specific areas where a specialized and tailored process can bring a competitive advantage to an organization. It should be noted that, for such process needs, enhancements can be made to a given all-in-one platform—where organizations can develop or purchase additional capabilities that fit seamlessly into these established, already available platforms.