Many businesses start out using a collection of applications and mismatched software to get their work done. This patchwork system is typically cobbled together as the business grows. A problem is encountered, some software is bought or found to fix it, and that continues through the various problems a growing business has. Eventually, you’re running a business on a vast network of different programs. The question is where should you go from there? Applications vs. single platforms is the dilemma facing growing businesses. Using a single platform to handle all of your business needs (either one program or an integrated collection of different programs from one supplier) is better for your business in terms of communication, security, and training new employees on how you get things done around here.
There is one way that using a collection of applications can beat out a single platform. Applications are typically cheaper on a very small scale. Many single platform options are more expensive on a smaller scale than they are at a larger one. Struggling businesses opt to leave tomorrow’s problems for tomorrow, and pay for cheaper applications that save them money today. As tempting as it is to save cash when you can, transitioning while your company is smaller can save you headaches down the road. New single platform systems are much more competitively priced than they used to be. Do your research before concluding applications are the way to go for now.
When you use a single platform for your whole company, it makes it much easier to train new employees. As your company grows, you’re going to need to add new people to the payroll. When your company all uses the same system, these employees will be well prepared for anything that they’re asked to do. As people are promoted or change departments, they’re able to access files and send work on evenly. There’s only one program to learn, and it saves time over learning to use a handful of different applications.
You want to make it as easy as possible for your employees to talk to one another. Inter-department communications can make projects easier or harder than they have to be. Good communication and common points of reference allow easier communication.
Easy communication can also help your employees meet deadlines and tackle problems. Workflow is easier to establish and maintain on one system. There’s no need to copy files between platforms, or waste time reaching out about it. It helps keep all employees on task and up to date.
A single platform is much easier to keep secure than a collection of applications. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. The least well-defended application you used would set the level of security for your whole system. With a single platform, you can work hard to make it and all of your files as secure as possible. This side of applications vs single platforms is easy to add up: more security is always better like MaxxBolt, Document Management for Microsoft Dynamic, Maxxclaim.
The question of applications vs. single platforms isn’t as hard as it seems. Applications may be less expensive if you only have a few employees, but in time the benefits (and cost) of a single platform will win out. Single platforms are organized for communication, easier to secure, and easy to learn as you expand your business.