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Multiple Applications or One Suite – Which is Better for Your Business?

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When businesses start out, they usually implement applications and solutions to address their immediate needs without necessarily taking the future into consideration. And usually, these same businesses grow into medium-to-large entities with more complex business processes and finally realize that their original solutions no longer address their requirements.

Then comes time to upgrade to a newer solution. But then, a new question arises: would it be better to continue upgrading all the applications that have been carried over from the past or seek a new one-suite solution that covers multiple facets of the business?

Let’s try to answer that question by taking a look at some pros and cons.

The Advantages

First, let’s see what advantages come with each way of setting up your business’ technology processing.

Multiple applications

When you have a more than one application running in your business, you get:

  • A variety of applications to choose from that will let you tackle your business processes independently from one another
  • Isolation of applications in case of failures, which let you continue working on other business processes without having to wait on corrective measures
  • Smaller bandwidth requirements during transactions and updates because you can choose which ones to keep running and which ones not to
  • The exclusion of added weight from irrelevant modules, because you’ll only have applications you need, not ones you’re saddled with simply because they come as part of the package

One-suite solutions

Installing a full ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) solution allows for:

  • Integrated business solutions that work seamlessly with one another and without your intervention
  • One suite to administer and configure, requiring a support staff fluent in just one particular solution’s programming language or configuration
  • Easy troubleshooting as you have a single software package to troubleshoot instead of numerous applications
  • Covering of more ground in your business’ chain of process as you get an end-to-end solution

The Drawbacks

Of course, to see which is the better applications setup for your situation, you have to also look at each setup’s downsides.

Multiple applications

Handicaps you might face with having a collection of independent applications include:

  • Variety of code, OS and application configurations to troubleshoot, which almost always poses a huge challenge for support staff
  • Decentralized data that requires conversion to integrate, meaning you might need to invest in intermediary applications that will cast data inputs before they’re passed on the receiving applications
  • Difficulty in precisely gauging overall performance, because you might not be able to pinpoint the exact application causing the bottleneck or failure

One-suite solutions

In the case of single-suite business processing solutions, you might encounter problems like:

  • One crash could bring the whole system down, since no single module can run without the whole setup being up and running
  • The more advanced the solution, the more expensive it gets – purchase, installation, customization and support will almost always be more expensive
  • High probability you’ll be paying for modules you won’t use, simply because they’re part of the whole package and you can’t exclude them

The Verdict

The solution that is best for you will depend on your unique situation. If you focus primarily on a niche product or service, opt for your own dedicated, standalone software. This will be cheaper and can ensure your systems stay up and running in case of certain failures. If, however, your business is growing fast and you don’t have the time or manpower to focus on many individual pieces of software, opt for an all-in-one solution. Hire someone specialized in running it efficiently and see just how much more you can get accomplished.




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