Best of Breed vs Best of Suite? What’s Better? When Should You Pick One Over the Other?

Larger businesses and enterprises use software packages to automate countless functional areas. Doing so involves a key choice: does a business choose the best application for the job for each and every functional area, even if it involves dealing with multiple vendors?

Or is it better to choose a suite of applications from a single vendor, even if component applications are slightly lacking? There is a trade-off either way. Read on to see whether choosing best of breed or best of suit is better for your organisation.

Best of suite: pros and cons

Though each business is unique, similarities are typical across industries. Manufacturing businesses share many software requirements, just like the typical advertising agency requires a specific set of software functions. As a result, many vendors provide product suites that enable a business to fulfil all its software requirements in one go.

Why would a business choose to invest in a software suite? A suit is an integrated application, by definition. In other words, businesses don’t need to pay systems integrators to connect applications and users can rely on a consistent experience. All enterprise data is centralised and accessible by all component applications.

Despite the consistency and ease of use, the software suite does pose problems. First, your business may be very dependent on a critical part of a software suite that the vendor has decided not to prioritise. In other words, you’re unlikely to get top features in every functional area. In fact, software suits can be unnecessarily rigid and inflexible. Besides, by trying to do too much for too many, suites can suffer from complexity and functional overload.

Best of Breed: Pros and Cons

In contrast, by picking the best application for the job in every functional area your business can ensure that it gets the most comprehensive functionality, everywhere. With applications that are closely suited to your business requirements, you’re more likely to tap the most of what today’s technology has to offer. Implementing individual packages can also be far quicker than configuring a wide-ranging suite of products.

But best of breed can suffer when it comes to integration. Software developed by different vendors may not play together, diminishing the amount of real-time data processing and integration that’s possible. Vendors offering best of breed applications can also be far smaller than their suite counterparts, which brings risk in terms of support and longevity.

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