Should You License Multiple Software Solutions or Choose A Single Enterprise Platform?

When organizations license enterprise software, most decision makers usually are either targeting a single department or addressing one workflow at a time. Before cloud platforms existed, organizations had no choice but to deploy multiple systems (as well as update them, host them locally, manage them, patch them, etc.) for everything from project management, to CRM, word processing, document management, payments/invoicing, and more.

There are still some scenarios where individual software solutions across several different departments may be appropriate. Increasingly, leaders and those same decision makers are turning to single platforms that can be leveraged across different areas of the company. What’s the right decision for you and your group?

Pros and Cons for Multiple Software Systems

The biggest pro of them all is pretty simple: Specialization. If you’re working in a niche, there are often enterprise platforms that address that niche and that niche alone. The downside, or con, to this approach is that habits and a lack of awareness often contribute to the notion that said software is truly best-of-breed for that area.

Habits can be hard to break, especially for employees who were trained on a single system when they were hired. Your staff may assume that what they’re using is the only solution, simply because they haven’t been exposed to anything else. What was best-of-breed a decade ago may simply need to be readdressed with new workflows, knowledge, and training.

Pros and Cons of a Single Software Enterprise/ERP Solution

Enterprise software today often is designed to be a servant to several masters. Your invoicing system, CRM, document management, email, and so forth can be accessed from a single interface. The obvious advantage is that one stakeholder record is connected to each of these systems, which reduces error from data entry and ensures that important updates (payments, address changes, name corrections, and so forth) are reflected across the entire organization. Other benefits include:

  • Automatic updates
  • Faster and easier updates
  • Minimal hardware investment
  • Reduction in licensing costs
  • Relationship management with one vs. several vendors

The downside is that often, large cloud systems simply can’t, or don’t, address the needs of your entire staff. When you make that investment in a new system, it’s a lasting commitment. An alternative may be that you work with your team to decide what single-use platforms you continue to use, and work with a company that has the capacity to integrate those systems when, and where, they’re needed.

Rarely is there a one-size-fits-all solution for any department or agency. This is a long-term investment, and rather than making investments in fits and starts, start by consulting an experienced third party that understands your industry or sector.

For over four decades, Mitchell Humphrey & Co. has developed cost-effective solutions for the public sector. We can work with your agency or office to increase efficiency and reduce costs with easy-to-implement software solutions. Whether we provide you with an off-the-shelf cloud solution, or need to build one just for your needs, we have experience with many agencies and government institutions across the U.S. Contact us today to schedule a demo.