In addition to deciding whether to buy or build portal software, IT teams have another critical business decision to make:
Is it more beneficial to use a point solution for a portal or use a holistic approach?
What is a Point Solution?
According to PCMag, “A point solution is a tool or system that is designed to solve a specific problem, without regard to related and other issues.”
For example, if an HR department is searching for a way to improve employee engagement, they might look for a solution that only makes employee portals.
Using a point solution can be likened to using a pre-assembled bookshelf as the solution to organizing the books and materials in an office.
What is a Holistic Approach?
Another method businesses can leverage is a holistic approach, for example, by using a platform.
Hubspot defines a platform as a, “Set of software and surrounding ecosystem of resources that enables growth through connection and integration.”
For example, the HR department we mentioned before is only solving a specific challenge within the department with their portal. That portal solution cannot be extended beyond that need to meet the requirements for customers or partners as that is not what it was intended for.
Alternatively, platforms provide for a more holistic approach. While these systems may not be able to solve problems from the outset, platforms deliver the foundation IT teams need to solve a range of challenges. So IT teams get to reap the benefits of building in-house, but on top of a pre-built foundation that increases time-to-market and reduces costs and maintenance.
If we return to organizing the office, instead of using a bookcase that has already been built, leveraging a platform can be likened to getting all the necessary components to build a bookshelf. This gives you the freedom to determine what size you need based on how many books or decorative items you’d like to display. You can also customize the color, wood type, metal, and layout.
When compared to point solutions, platforms provide a wide collection of out-of-the-box features that enables businesses to:
- Build tailored portals efficiently and connect them alongside existing technologies
- Streamline management, maintenance, and scaling of these portal solutions since everything is created on one platform
- Expand and grow these portals easily as future needs arise
How to Decide Which to Use
Here are some considerations to take into account when deciding whether a point solution or holistic approach is more beneficial for your organization:
|ROI of either option
While point solutions are generally more affordable and require less upfront costs, platforms help reduce costs and IT resources in the long-run.
|Time needed to implement and maintain
While point solutions are much easier and faster to get up and running, consider how much time and resources might be needed to support the solution in the long-term.
|Upgrades and support required in future
Where will the organization be in a few years? Will the IT team still be able to leverage the solution to achieve future goals or will significant work be needed?
So what’s going to be the best for your business? Will it be the quick, more direct point solution or the overarching holistic approach through a platform?
Do I Buy or Build My Software?
To buy or not to buy, that’s the question we aim to answer in this blog.