Forrester has predicted that there will be over 1 MILLION software companies by 2027. Let that sink in for a moment. How can you know you are making the right choice with so many options? This question is especially relevant when considering between an Enterprise Platform vs Point Solution.

Jay McBain of Forrester cites Hyperspecialization and the software-as-a-service (SaaS) purchasing model as the reason for the explosion of software companies around the world.

But is an extensive collection of hyperspecialized solutions the best choice for your organization? There isn’t a right or wrong answer, but you need to find the right approach for your team.

Eric Kimberling, CEO of Third Stage Consulting, joined me for a discussion on the pros and cons of choosing an enterprise platform vs a collection of point solutions to solve your business challenges.

What's the difference between Enterprise and Point Solutions?

3 Areas to Consider When Making the Choice Between an Enterprise Platform and a Point Solution

 

1. The Problem You Are Solving

Point Solution: With a point solution you can select a tool designed specifically with your problem and your problem alone in mind. It also allows you to update, replace, or modify that one portion of your ecosystem with fewer implications downstream. Point solutions often have “out of the box” functionality that can help you address you challenge quickly, but that also limits you to the exact process that the tool dictates.

Enterprise Platform: An enterprise platform can solve multiple organizational challenges but may not have every bell and whistle associated with a point solution. Many departments in an organization face similar challenges. Flexible productivity tools like Workflow and Case Management can be configured to support the desired process. However, they may not have the same “out of the box” capabilities that a point solution has. Still, depending on your industry, enterprise platforms may have purpose-built solutions that can provide the best of both worlds: a shortened deployment time and a solution optimized for your process.

2. Solution Deployment

Point Solution: Because a point solution is so focused and has lighter footprints, the deployment time is often short or almost non-existent. For example, File Sync and Share solutions can be configured for more robust capabilities, while other times, users create folders and upload documents on an ad-hoc basis as needed.

Enterprise Platform: Depending on the scope of the implementation, enterprise platforms can demand a lot of time, effort, and planning. With the proper roadmap, you can manage the rollout in a phased approach that is determined based on priority. When done right, you can begin benefiting from efficiencies in high-priority areas while you work on deploying the solution into other areas of the business.

3. Self Sufficiency and Support

Point Solution: If every department and process in your organization is leveraging a different toolset, it can get overwhelming quickly. Suddenly, IT Admins are responsible for numerous tools, and there is only so much expertise you can expect them to reasonably have. Additionally, support may be a bit trickier to manage when there are a plethora of many vendor relationships to manage. Having a high quantity of solutions can lead to a higher Total Cost of Ownership as the number of solutions and vendors continues to rise.

Enterprise Platform: An enterprise platform also allows you to build internal competencies on the road to self-sufficiency. Enterprise solutions help to minimize the amount of IT sprawl that can often be the symptom of Point Solutions. When you minimize the total number of applications your team must manage, it allows them to focus their training and begin to leverage your investment to its fullest. When an Enterprise Platform can add efficacies in multiple areas across the organization, it helps to drop the Total Cost of Ownership. If you have one subscription, one vendor, and one skillset to learn, it eliminates complexity that can come along with too many applications and minimizes the number of integrations required.

So, is an Enterprise Platform or Point Solution better?

The bottom line is that there is no right or wrong answer. Rather, there are options for organizations.

If you find yourself unsure of which option is right for you based on your needs and concerns, we can help. Feel free to contact us to set up a consultation.

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About Ema

Ema is a Director of Sales – Enterprise Solutions at Naviant. Ema is passionate about helping organizations navigate Digital Transformation. She has vast experience in helping organizations address their top IT Priorities and developing departmental solutions for process automation to expand the solution throughout the enterprise. She is also the host of Naviant’s Digital Transformation Talks series on YouTube and the Co-Host of the Third Thursday. In these series, experts from the Intelligent Automation and Digital Transformation space come together to share their ideas. When not at work, she is busy chasing after her two daughters, spending time outside, and hosting friends and family for gatherings.