The discussion is on again, One-vendor-for-all-things or Best-of-Breed:
The one-vendor-for-all-things-enterprise approach has no place in today’s business landscape, Levie says.
“When you have providers of technology that focus on a specific area and build a best-of-breed technology, we just know empirically that customers get more innovation from that provider than a company that sort of has a ‘Swiss Army Knife’ where they put everything together into a gigantic portfolio or suite,” he says. Vendors that offer a selection of tools “don’t focus on the innovation of every individual product, because their value proposition is the collection of tools that makes the whole system useful and powerful.”
Those of us, who have been around for a while in IT, do know the arguments very well, because this discussion has happened with classical On Premises-solutions since years. And we know that a lot of CIO’s and IT decision makers lean forward to an apparently secure solution taking no risks. But times are a changin‘, so say with Bob Dylan.
Mobile, apps and consumerization of IT are changing, no have changed everything. Why do people use tools like Dropbox or Box? Why is Slack quite successful despite most companies have email and chat in place? How could IT departments build on a solution, which didn’t have a mobile app for iOS for a long, long time? Ignorance hidden behind the curtain of security or compliance? A lot of IT departments and CIOs try to put their end users in legacy systems and Office-jail, although these users are requesting different, user-friendly solutions really supporting their daily work.
The Future of Work is about end users, not enterprise vs. consumer
„You don’t have to choose between the two. That is a false choice,“ said Agarwal. „The right question to ask is, ‚What is the best tool to get the job done? People want software that is easy to understand, simple to use and provides an elegant, delightful experience without training.“
And on top now companies like Apple and Facebook are entering the enterprise market with own solutions or through strategic partnerships:
Facebook is taking a partner-centric approach to its first foray into the enterprise with “Workplace,” its new social productivity app for business. …
Other consumer giants, including Apple, also aim to deepen their ties in the enterprise by riding the strengths of established vendors. Since 2014, Apple inked deals with IBM, Cisco, SAP and Deloitte.
And this is why Aaron Levie, CEO of cloud storage service Box, claims that we have to integrate best-of-breed solutions instead of making companies depending on monopolists:
“We’re now in an era where the tools are going to start to integrate with one another, so it’s far less about consolidation and far more about integration at this point.”
And this is why even elephants are willing and capable to dance. And dancing means having partners – dance the cha-cha-cha, the waltz, jive, rock’n’roll or free style. Don’t become slave to one rhythm. Rhythm is a dancer, and we need to support the rhythm of different generations, users, use cases in providing them the right tools while ensuring that everybody can listen to each other.
Watch out for next weeks announcements of IBM at their World of Watson: Redefining everyday work with IBM Watson – and a powerful ecosystem of partners while infusing artificial intelligence and cognitive capabilities for the business into really user-oriented tools and systems .