This information is for business decision-makers who:
• Have deployed some point solutions already and need to figure out the best way forward in building their technology stack.
• Need to prove return on investment (ROI) for the applications they recommend.
• Are committed to keeping up with the fast past of technology in the workplace.
• Have questions about the overall value of niche applications and integrated solutions.
Making sense of your technology options
A new era of business solutions emerged when cloud computing became broadly available. This is being driven by a few key factors:
A small tech company can access cloud storage and compute power without a huge investment in hardware. This has made it easier for smaller players with big ideas to make their solutions available to businesses.
Companies or even entire industries that are already moving toward digital transformation are getting proactive about solutions that can make processes easier. If these solutions don’t already exist, that means there’s a market for them, and that market is being filled by niche solution providers.
As digital transformation becomes more common for organisations, the market for cloud-based business solutions is growing. A solution provider that was waiting for a bigger market in order to introduce new applications isn’t waiting anymore.
These technologies are primarily what’s called ‘point solutions’. A point solution solves a problem at a specific point, but may not integrate with other solutions. One example is a video conference app. It solves the specific problem of video conferencing, but may not integrate with calendaring, email or file storage.
While point solutions are meeting many needs, integrated solutions are also showing up. An ‘integrated solution’ is one that includes multiple integrated applications that all work well together. For example, a product that combined email, chat, video conferencing, file storage and security together into one solution would be considered an integrated solution.
In this eBook we’ll explore when a point solution makes sense, and when integrated solutions make sense and we’ll assess this through four metrics:
75% of global cloud decision makers say cost savings is the number one reason for cloud initiatives.
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Point solution considerations
The nature of point solutions means they solve specific and often unique problems. In some cases, these problems can’t be solved any other way or with any other available solution. Imagine a statistical modelling app that a financial services company might use. Productivity is often a question of continuing with manual processes that take days versus a point solution that takes minutes. Saving time and money with a point solution like this makes the ROI clear.
With a single point solution, there’s simply less to learn right away than with a broad integrated solution. This reduces short-term training and onboarding costs.
Lower purchase price
Single-service cost will be lower than the overall cost of an integrated solution, primarily because there’s less included in the package. This can make a point solution attractive in the short-term.
If your business has genuinely unique single-point problems that need singlepoint solutions, you can uncover a strong ROI. But if your business needs to purchase multiple point solutions in order to operate effectively, the ROI will plummet. This is because incremental payments for user licences and other fees associated with individual software will quickly outpace the set costs of an integrated solution.
Integrated solution considerations
Lower total cost
Predictable and fixed pricing with lower maintenance and support costs make an integrated solution more cost-effective than managing multiple point solutions over the long term.
Reduced complexity, transferable skills and knowledge
When teams use an integrated solution, they more quickly learn new features and capabilities thanks to a familiar and consistent interface, commands, processes and user experience across the different apps.
With just one system to maintain, IT can streamline support, updates and maintenance. This not only saves time, but also frees IT to focus on other projects that serve the business.
While a single point solution will be cheaper than an integrated solution in the short term, this isn’t necessarily a good thing. A piecemeal approach can actually prevent your organisation from moving holistically to digital transformation because you’ll end up with a jumbled mix of vendors and connectors. In the long run this makes it more expensive to overhaul your systems from the ground up. At the same time, your organisation loses out on efficiencies that a holistic approach can deliver.