One of the eternal debates of technology and IT departments since basically they were invented is: Should we buy best of breed and integrate? or buy a Full Stack Solution that provides ~80 of functionality?
I know the answer to this is largely drive by the context that you operate in as well as the eco-systems that your tools are developed on. I'm curious to know how organizations of various sizes are approaching this.
After having evaluated more than 30 products before deciding our growth stack, I can say with confidence that choosing best-of-breed tools over the jack-of-all-trades is any day the wiser choice.
I forget where I saw this (it was one of the SaaS Management tool providers) but user behaviour often means if you select a full stack tool, even with a strong IT department governing it , by year 3 around 40% of your users will have bled away to a best of breed solution. I guess one of the reasons for this may be headcount churn - new hires bring new ideas and also weren't around when the big adoption drive was made
I feel like the decision comes down to how much you use the product and the specific feature you need.
For example. Google Sheets isn't the best-of-breed spreadsheet technically; it has far fewer functions to Excel, almost none of the add-on ecosystem Excel has, doesn't support anywhere near as large of spreadsheets, barely works offline, etc. And yet, Google Sheets is far better at two things: commenting and live collaboration with others, and working online in the background where other apps can add data on their own via integrations.
Thus I think most people end up picking Google Sheets as a "broad solution" because it's good enough and free, assuming they'll buy an Office 365 subscription for Excel if they end up needing more features. But on the flip side, I actually need a connected spreadsheet that's easy to share with others, and so Google Sheets is my best-in-breed solution for that use case.
Broad solutions are perfect when you need the lowest common denominator features. You need a spreadsheet, a word process, whatever—anything could work, just need feature X.
Best in breed solutions are best when you live in something, use it all day, see it as mission-critical. It's easy for me to pay for say writing apps, even say Ulysses with a monthly subscription, because I write all day. Whereas I'd get by with iMovie that's bundled with my Mac, say, instead of buying Premiere to edit a video on a rare occasion.
Generally I lean towards best-in-breed software, but am glad to use broad solutions for occasional tasks where not being best isn't the worst problem.
From what I've seen the best approach is best-of-breed with gradual convergence of non-critical SaaS into a broad solution.
For example, you might use broad solution for HR/directory/presence tracking (let's say SuccessFactor), but decide that hiring process is too important to be governed by horrors of broad solution ATS module and instead take up best of breed SaaS for it.
Best-of-breed 100% of the time. Software trying to be all things to all people, in my experience, always ends up full of bloat and half-baked features. Being spread across multiple platforms certainly introduces its own set of challenges (account management, subscription overload, etc.), but they're worthwhile trade-offs.
Few factors that come to my mind for Full Stack tools:
1) Ease of Integration with Existing tools that you use.
2) Migrating Existing data from current tools
3) Ease of collaborating with People outside your Organisation ( This is where network effect comes in)
4) Imagine using that tool with a large workforce (50+). You will see issues here.
5) Why now? Why am I thinking about migrating to this new tool? What sort of workarounds have I been employing to get this job done? In short JTBD it.
Curious if anyone has any new, favorite survey tools? Are you mainly using Survey Monkey, Typeform and Google Forms?
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