Why an Ecosystem of Integrations Would Benefit Your Business More Than All-in-One Platforms
- Ecosystems of Integrations Provide a Better Solution for Businesses Than All-in-One Platforms
- Why You Should Avoid All-in-One Platforms
- All-in-One Platforms Seldom Work: Here’s What You Should Do Instead
A vital decision any business has to make is which tools are best for their operations. From the very start, a business needs the right software to manage and organize their teams.
Now, all-in-one platforms have their appeal. They contain a combination of tools wrapped up into one simple package, and leaders often think that this is the best solution for them. After all, it seems easy and convenient.
But these solutions aren’t always the best choice. They have their place, naturally, but they fail to provide several important elements. For one, they aren’t always as comprehensive as you’d like — and you often don’t realize it until you start working with one. By then, it’s already too late and you have to supplement them with additional tools.
Before things get too complicated for your business, let’s review why you should consider more adaptable models.
Scaling Is Difficult With All-in-One Platforms
It’s very possible an all-in-one software does work for you in the beginning. You have everything you need in one neat package that is adaptable between the few people running the business. Afterall, these few people are probably wearing many hats and the less new tech they have to learn, the better. Your company operates smoothly.
But what happens when your business starts to grow?
Scaling requires operational adjustments. Will an all-in-one software be able to handle that?
Most of the time the answer is no.
You will have outgrown your initial tools and you’ll need more to work at optimal efficiency. And again, it’s a matter of supplementing something you already pay for with more tools in order to keep your business going.
The lack of software support, while you focus on growth, can prove to be more than a hurdle on the road. You need a system that can grow with your business and that won’t take your attention away from what really matters.
Dropbox is a good example of a software that is well adapted for a changing ecosystem, starting off simple, but allowing you to scale when needed. Integrate more tools, increase your storage space, and you are good to go. With all the information securely stored in the cloud, you won’t have to worry about a massive server set up.
Plus, you don’t need to figure out exactly what you need at the very start.
Let’s look at invoice management for example. You may have very few invoices in the beginning that your team can handle manually. But, as your business scales, that number will continue to grow, and you would benefit from an invoice automation system that can easily integrate with your toolstack.
As new needs appear, apps and SaaS products that allow for seamless integration are key for creating a purpose-built ecosystem that fits your specific needs.
They Don’t Adapt Well
What you see is what you get.
We’ve already covered that all-in-one platforms don’t scale well, but even when you’re not focusing on growth, a variety of disruptions can change your needs and call for the right new tool.
A very recent example: The coronavirus pandemic struck businesses hard worldwide. Businesses had new needs, and they had to accommodate them quickly. But what if they ran on all-in-one platforms that couldn’t handle that?
Perhaps you just need to add one new element to your process. For example, more and more people are having to shuffle around their schedule to accommodate kids staying home from school or a mental health day and that means for ROs. Without burying your HR department, adding a simple vacation request system can fill that need. In an ecosystem of integrations, you can add a simple form builder that allows your teams to submit their requests on any device.
An all-in-one platform is a rigid space that doesn’t give you much room for transformation. But, a toolstack ecosystem where you can add or remove tools as needed gives you all the freedom to explore your ideas, make quick changes, and find new ways to support your teams.
Change is inevitable — what you need is a system that can support that without giving you a headache or making you spend more money than necessary.
You Don’t Get Best-of-Breed Tools
Purchasing an all-in-one system may seem convenient. All the tools are already there — you just have to learn how to use them.
But consider this — an all-in-one platform can have good enough options, but they might not be the best tools on the market or even the best tools for your team. You don’t get to pick and choose much, and you’re stuck with what’s already there.
Look at a tool like Contentstack, a headless content management system with a focus on building personalized customer journeys. It’s a widely helpful tool, but it can’t possibly manage all your company and brand needs, so they’re always adding new integrations to support their own users.. Allowing you to introduce new, small features that make your business operate smoothly.
It may seem a bit overwhelming at first, but that’s the beauty of it. You get to try the best-of-breed integrations. And if they don’t work out, you can explore other options without sinking thousands of dollars into a yearly subscription or contract..
Best-of-breed doesn’t have to mean that you use software that everyone else is using — it can mean that software is specifically best for you. Tailoring an ecosystem just for your business takes a bit more time, but it pays off in the long run.
All-in-one platforms certainly have their place in the market. For example, you can get an all-in-one platform for a specific segment of your business, like marketing. But running your entire operation on something that doesn’t scale or adapt well is risky business.
That’s why you should consider going for a more adaptable choice. Systems like Dropbox and Contentstack basically give you a blank sheet of paper, and you get to fill it however you like. As hard as it may seem, you’ll be thankful that you took this path.