Complete business solution vs best of breed in Cloud.

The debate of selecting best of breed or a complete business suite has been and still is a hot topic.

The main argument for best of breed is that no single software vendor can be on top of every solution. The main argument for best of breed that it’s not dependent on just one software vendor.

What speaks for a complete business solution (suite of products) is that integration between the different product and modules are all from one vendor and will have a lower total cost of ownership (TCO).

Business Solutions moving to the cloud.

We are now getting used to most of our private data being stored on the internet, and we consume more and more cloud services in our daily life. Now Business Solutions are also moving to the cloud. The customers expect some obvious values by moving to the cloud:

  • More predictable cost
  • Always available
  • Device agnostic
  • Mobile

Now, there are several different ways for a vendor to offer cloud solution and the business value for the different scenarios are quite different.

  • Cloud as an infrastructure
  • Public cloud
  • Private cloud
  • Hybrid

I think that the first response you will get from a person when you talk about cloud is the values and threats around public cloud. Everyone are attracted to the notion of predictable (low?) cost and always available. On the other hand, you are by nature more exposed to your data being compromised compared to a private cloud solution (or even stay on premise).

In a best of breed solution, there will be an undefined cost related to integration. Not only to set them up but also to maintain them. This will be complex because you or no other part, control the different environments that the best of breed solutions are dependent on.

Right now, the technology we have at hand doesn’t provide us with the right tools to help us solve this, without a considerable higher TCO.

To keep the TCO down it may be a good approach to select a total Business Solution from one vendor. In an on premise world, the customer, vendor or consultants must conduct the installations and integrations. When this moves to the cloud all this will be taken care of by the vendor and thereby be no concern for the customer related to TCO.

The question now is if one vendor is capable of building the best solution for every part of the Business Solution compared to picking best of breed. For companies, offering a cloud solution, there is an opportunity to conduct the best of breed selection based on other vendors and offer that is  part of the total Business Solution, without compromising the value of Public Cloud. This will give you the combined values of predictable cost AND best of breed.


Product Director Visma Software International
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