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  • Writer's pictureDavid

Why All-In-One Solutions Disappoint

It’s tempting to think that there’s an all-in-one solution software solution that is able to take care of every task imaginable within your organization, but the truth is that all-in-one almost always means compromise. When dividing normal constraints, such as time and money, by an ever-increasing number of unrelated problems, software solutions will trend toward mediocre at best. If you’re looking for the best solutions along each phase of your workflow, the use of multiple specialized platforms will produce the best result.

Your challenges are big, and an all-in-one solution sounds convenient, but even the most focused software companies are still finding bugs and launching new features every day. Imagine the challenges that emerge when trying to include dozens of unrelated solutions in one platform! Thus, selecting multiple solutions that are uniquely specialized for each component of your workflow is the best way to return comprehensive results.

This actually isn’t a new concept. For example, loafers or heels might work well in the office, but you wouldn't plan on wearing them to a marathon. Why? Because one shoe that can do everything really, well, doesn’t exist. For quite some time, back-end core enterprise software has primarily focused on broad functionality. These systems are typically for internal eyes only with basic assistance features. They can be hard to learn, and lack remote accessibility.

This trend can’t last much longer. Amazing user experiences are becoming increasingly ubiquitous in our everyday lives as consumers, and efficiency gains from these interfaces are a no brainer for workplace technology. Adobe sums up user experience as “pretty much everything that affects a user’s interaction with a product.” If the software you’re using at work isn’t as easy to use as your favorite social media site... you, your client, and your bottom line are suffering as a result.

Three arguments that lead to All-In-One Remorse:

  1. Double-entry takes too much time. The ROI on any new software should certainly include time spent dealing with double entry. However, if 5 minutes of double-entry can save four hours of work, that’s likely going to bode well for your own ROI calculations. In fact, future workers expect to be moving in and out of solutions that make the most sense for the task at hand. What are the outcomes in your own organization that are worth an extra five minutes of work? Maybe you’re attempting twenty percent growth year over year while doubling your customer satisfaction scores, or perhaps you need to cut costs by double-digit percentages? There’s a famous marketing saying: People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill bit. They want a quarter-inch hole. Are you shopping drill bits, or looking for the best solution?

  2. Process is king, and should not change with advancements in technology. This one may sting a bit. Of course we’re all interested in leveraging new technology for process improvement, but are you really committed to this task? Adopting new solutions can inform invaluable improvement to your process, reaching far beyond the initial scope of the solution itself. While there are costs to consider when changing or implementing new technology, keep in mind that great technology solutions are becoming easier to implement every day. When the printing press came along, newspapers redesigned their process to get the most out of a new technology. Are you giving up on an amazing solution before considering its impact if your process were to change?

  3. A great user experience is only important for customers. We don’t need a fancy internal solution, just something that gets the job done. Cumbersome internal software solutions that are more about reporting and accountability are often underutilized by employees. Deloitte notes that “Poor user engagement with enterprise applications is a leading reason enterprise software fails to deliver the desired business results for organizations.” What solutions exist that proactively pursue clients and allow employees and clients to co-create the information you hope to track? If getting the job done well and quickly is indeed the goal, then investing in a well-designed software solution will help employees to get the job done better and faster while decreasing stress.

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