The Shift from Best-of-Breed to Integrated Suites: Streamlining Costs and Enhancing AI Capabilities

by Ian Campbell March 26, 2024

Nucleus has noticed an increasing trend away from best-of-breed applications towards integrated suites. This shift is primarily driven by cost considerations in acquisition, integration, and support. We know integration and consulting costs can often exceed the cost of the software itself, making an integrated approach more cost-effective per work desktop. However, integrated suites offer unified data for artificial intelligence (AI) projects, further strengthening the business case for integrated solutions. Zoho, with its aggressive integrated AI plans, exemplifies this trend towards a more holistic work environment.

What are the advantages of a suite approach?

Reduced Cost of Integration

Integrated suites offer a significant advantage in reducing integration costs. Unlike best-of-breed applications, which require extensive effort to integrate different systems and ensure compatibility, integrated suites are designed to work seamlessly together, reducing complexity and integration costs.

Reduced Cost of Training

Training employees on multiple best-of-breed applications can be time-consuming and expensive. Each application may have its own user interface, workflows, and terminology, requiring employees to learn and adapt to different systems. Integrated suites, on the other hand, provide a unified user experience across all modules, making it easier for employees to learn and use the software effectively.

Increased Speed of Deployment

Integrated suites are typically easier and faster to deploy compared to best-of-breed applications. Since all modules are designed to work together, organizations can implement the entire suite at once, rather than stagger the deployment of individual applications. This can significantly reduce the time it takes to roll out new software and realize its benefits.

Reduced Ongoing Support Costs

Managing and maintaining multiple best-of-breed applications can be complex and costly. Organizations may need to deal with different vendors, support teams, and software updates, leading to increased support costs. Integrated suites, managed by a single vendor, streamline the support process and reduce ongoing maintenance costs.

There’s no question the long-term trend is moving away from best-of-breed applications towards integrated suites. Organizations are looking to reduce the complexity and costs of their technology environment while also building AI capabilities. Integrated suites offer a compelling business case, providing cost savings, streamlined operations, and enhanced AI capabilities. The days of best-of-breed solutions appear to be numbered.