Platform or Bolt-On: Which Is in Your Best Interest?

It is inevitable. As business grows, so does technology, back office, and other aspects of the business not in the original plan. While creating positions and increasing revenue is a great thing for business, often businesses can find themselves moving ahead without a solid strategy. What results is an add only when past capacity tendency, leaving multiple vendors doing various tasks.

But is this a bad thing for businesses? Some would argue no; a business should not tie all their resources into one strategy. Yet this approach can be short sighted and leave the business inefficient and constantly behind the market.

In contrast, a platform allows a business to consolidate all items into one efficient strategy, focusing on the tasks ahead. Yet this approach requires long term strategy and a willingness to risk technologies the company might not be ready for.

So, which is better for business in the long run, platform or bolt-on services?

The case for bolt-on services

Often when a business realizes a need, they either add a position or shop vendors to fill that specific hole in their enterprise. So, bolting on a specific solution is the easiest and most cost-efficient method at the time of need.

Not only is it the most cost-efficient but bolting on vendors based on needs prevents a symbiotic necessity within the business. Relationships within businesses are like consumer relationships with companies. If a vendor no longer serves a purpose, the business will shop for a new vendor. Having different vendors for different aspects, enables a business to move on without disrupting the entire environment.

However, that is rarely the situation when it comes to technology. A business will bolt on certain aspects they find too expensive to handle internally, while pressuring their staff to maintain the other aspects. A company might go through a vendor for procurement, but the IT department is left with device management and finance is left with invoice management.

IT departments juggle multiple facets of technology, accessing a varied number of supports, due to a lack of overall strategy.

Platform availability

Unlike bolt on services, platforms allow a business to streamline their technology needs. Rather than having an IT department worry about whether the purchased security will function with their IOT or devices, a platform ensures all aspects work together.

A business no longer misses the small items, increasing efficiencies and security.

Also, utilizing the platform method allows for built-in capabilities. The business decides which functions to use and which to avoid.

Built-in capabilities mean the functions are available when the business is at a point of needing them.

Unfortunately, most businesses in growth mode will see capabilities as unnecessary functions that potentially drive up the cost of the service. Successful viewing of technology platforms requires a long-term strategy regarding technological growth and future requirements of the business.

A platform approach requires a business to be forward thinking in technology.

Built-in capabilities

The best benefit for businesses regarding platform technology is the capabilities are available regardless. The business must choose to leverage the capabilities. However, the last-minute panic to fill an IT need is no longer a concern.

In fact, leveraging a platform approach can free an IT department from minutiae that slips through the cracks. A lost cell phone or security breach can waste whole days of IT performance. Platforms with built-in capabilities provide software for device management, staff to handle and track issues, as well as 24/7 concierge to assist with last minute life craziness.

In fact, most IT vendors who utilize a platform approach can provide strategy and policy assistance. A business can be sure all technology bases are covered. Including making sure the business is on track for cutting edge technology down the road.

While the easiest method is bolt-on, adding cost only when necessary, at some point a business will become too large for the various aspects. Rather than causing additional stress on an IT department, a platform enables additional services without additional work and environmental changes.

Ultimately, a platform allows an enterprise to grow into the future.

For more information on MobileWare’s Maestro platform, read here.

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