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  • The Benefits of Cloud-Based Best-of-Breed vs. Integrated Stack

The Benefits of Cloud-Based Best-of-Breed vs. Integrated Stack

Just this morning, a client informed me that she couldn’t move her company to the Cloud for reasons of security. Security? For a company that makes muffins? She nodded, emphatically, noting that her muffins were a popular item. I spluttered a little before responding: ‘But…worrying about Cloud security is so…2016….’

After a quick lecture on the last three years of Cloud development, during which Cloud security has become a primary selling point, rather than a drawback, she nodded wisely, and asked a question that was, well, very 2019: “So what do you recommend? Integrated stack? Or best-of-breed Cloud-Base?”

Now there’s a question I can sink my teeth into without staring at the calendar and wondering where my client’s been for the last half-decade. To be honest, it’s not been an easy choice, historically. But after several years of indecision, I’m happy to report that the way to go today is best-of-breed.

In the past, my answer was usually a single vendor/integrated stack. Best-of-breed deployment was more difficult, at the time, both to implement and manage, whereas single-vendor was inherently integrated, more straight-forward, more efficient, and left you, as they say, with only ‘one throat to choke’ if anything went wrong.

Top Cloud-Base Benefits:

Flexible and Fast Applications 

Today, however, best-of-breed is gaining fans, and traction, with a number of benefits that most manufacturers will (or ought to, anyways) find attractive. From the most general point of view, the Cloud has made it possible, both financially and operationally, for companies to mix-and-match the applications that best suit their needs. In the past, functionality was often sacrificed in the name of integration. That is no longer the case. With the Cloud’s open, flexible application architecture, integration is a given, and functionality is back in the driver’s seat.

Another selling point for best-of-breed apps is lightning fast implementation. Of course, when I say ‘lightning-fast’, I mean it can take weeks to implement a complex, cloud-based application, rather than months or years. Taking part in the ‘API Economy’ (Application Programming Interface) allows rapid, simple integration with best-of-breed apps, even with your old legacy software. Taking the Cloud-based, best-of-breed approach also gives you access to the latest technologies, including Industry 4.0 apps that can really bring you into the 21st century – without breaking the proverbial bank.

Saves You Money

Cost, of course, is always an issue, and I’m pleased to say that there are plenty of savings to be found on the Cloud. When implementing a new application, for example, you don’t need to send your IT personnel on a shopping expedition for new servers, along with extra storage media, security, and network infrastructure. Furthermore, you reduce your need for additional back-up and recovery, because those are part of the Cloud services you’re paying for. Best-of-breed Cloud services can also minimize the need for expensive consultants and pricey service agreements.

Besides, many companies realize substantial savings from subscription-based pricing, which allows you to pay for the services you need when you need them. That can be particularly useful for phasing in services across divisions or geographical locations and can move a large portion of IT expenses from CAPEX to OPEX, which will, in some cases, provide bottom-line benefits.

Added Benefits – The Future is Just Getting Good

I could (and will in other articles) go on for several blogs on the various added benefits of best-of-breed applications on the Cloud, like your Cloud ERP and IoT capabilities. The possibilities they provide for improvements in cash flow, flexibility, collaboration, and productivity, are only limited by our willingness to think in terms of business model innovation. In my opinion, the fun, the benefits, and the savings are only getting started.

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