"Best of Breed" vs. Integrated Solution

Aberdeen: Adopting point solutions can drive up integration costs

Boston  August 15, 2001  Companies investing their enterprise application budgets in "best-of-breed" point solutions rather than in an integrated product suite from a single supplier may wind up paying a high price in integration costs down the road, according to research from technology consulting firm Aberdeen Group.

Many companies in recent years have sought rapid return on technology investments by buying software to address specific pain points within their enterprises. Dramatic results in the shortest timeframe were the priority, and implementation times were frequently measured in months, not years.

"This strategy was frequently driven by fear of losing a competitive stance  specifically a belief that New Economy Darwinism would ensue if enterprises were too slow to react," says Katherine Jones, managing director for the consulting firm.

But those same companies have simultaneously and often unknowingly set themselves up for significant application integration investments to link these point solutions to one another and their legacy systems, Aberdeen found.

In fact, application integration spending may rise, in certain instances, to as much as 70 percent of the total enterprise IT budget, the consulting firm reported.

For its research, Aberdeen interviewed a dozen IT professionals at selected large and midsize North American enterprises using varying combinations of integrated and point enterprise application solutions. The interviews took place in the second quarter of this year.