Software and its developers are nothing if not adaptable. When a gap or need is detected in the market, it’s only a brief matter of time before a new software solution appears to save the day. This is very good for businesses and consumers. But this proliferation of point solution software has given rise to another, less desirable phenomenon―the application stack.
Companies that need best-of-breed solutions are now juggling a growing collection of torches, cats, and chainsaws and they’re dealing with integration issues, data mismatches, overlapping features, UI discontinuity, and authentication issues. And then to deal with those issues, they’re adding even more software to the stack to help facilitate connections between all the disparate applications.
Companies can’t be satisfied with parity, they’re driven to differentiate and gain a competitive advantage, even if it’s a small one. And this leads to an explosion of narrowly focused solutions that are extremely good at what they do, but often operate at arm’s length from one another.
It’s clear that software solution spaces are fragmenting much more quickly than they are consolidating. What’s not entirely clear yet is how companies will deal with application stacks containing dozens of unique applications that are expected to play nicely with one another.
In recent years Operations job titles have appeared in nearly every business function: Sales Ops, Dev Ops, Marketing Ops, IT Ops, Support Ops, etc. This trend reflects the increasingly specialized technical burden that is the cost of gaining a competitive advantage via best-in-class point solutions.
As the cost and complexity of managing application stacks continue to rise, the debate over the virtues of point solutions, platforms, integrated or monolithic solutions has never been more relevant.
I can’t tell you which strategy is best because I think the answer is: “it depends.” But, I can tell you about Windward’s approach to the problem.
Windward will continue to offer cost-effective best-in-class document generation solutions in a variety of formats and configurations because―”it depends.”