infoTECH Feature

November 08, 2016

Why the New Monoliths are Good for Business

By Special Guest
Stephane Ibos, Co-founder of Maestrano

For years, enterprises had to choose between monolithic enterprise apps and best-of-breed solutions. The former offers a one stop shop and integration, but force compromises. In the latter, individual programs may shine on their own but need to be cobbled together through duct tape, bubble gum and APIs.

Today, there’s talk of microservices architecture and various cloud applications, but in reality, the discussion for enterprises and SMEs hasn’t changed all that much. Debates of “Oracle, SAP or best-of-breed” have been replaced by debates of “AWS, Google (News - Alert), Azure or best-of-breed.” The monoliths never disappeared; they were simply replaced by new ones.

However, there’s nuance to today’s conversations that hasn’t appeared before. The cloud offers something new, and when looked at through the proper lense, can eliminate the “either/or” nature of traditional tech buying. Enterprises and SMEs can finally combine their preferred software with best-of-breed solutions. From Docker through Salesforce, there are many organizations trying to marry best-of-breed with cloud platforms. For the first time, with very little development, organizations can, for example, link their CRM tool to their email. They can also link their marketing platform to their billing software. And it can all happen on one singular cloud, or via multiple clouds hosting various apps.

Here are three examples of how this new approach, large cloud providers plus best-of-breed apps, can have dramatic results for enterprises and SMEs alike.

  • Data Entry- Excessive data entry can be a real productivity killer. Whether it is a customer service function (such as call center representatives always needing to request credit card information when a repeat customer makes a purchase) or the A/R team needing to track down (and key in) address information for a hot new account, having multiple people entering in the same information never makes sense.
  • Machine Learning- Perhaps the most compelling use case for this new approach comes in the form of machine learning (ML). While not every company can afford its own instance of IBM’s (News - Alert) Watson, the barrier to entry for machine learning technologies has become very low. Google Spreadsheets, for example, offers a basic ML component. By having disparate systems share data, something that’s more easily accomplished with the cloud, companies can more easily visualize, and operationalize the data they have at their disposal.
  • Data Migration- An often overlooked piece of today’s new approach to infrastructure is the ability to easily migrate between clouds. This isn’t to say that, for example, dumping Google Suite to move to Microsoft (News - Alert) is always a simple task, but it is far easier than it has ever been. This offers two benefits to users. First, it limits the concern of vendor lock in. Second, it provides motivation for the cloud vendors to continue to iterate and expand their products (if it’s easy to leave, a growing product site helps with retention).

By utilizing the capabilities built into today’s expanding software suites, and enhancing their abilities through purpose-built add-ons, companies can easily realize that the computing dream of a technology ecosystem marries the benefits of yesterday’s monoliths with today’s best-of-breed solutions. Enterprises and SMEs of all sizes need to select the tools that are best suited for their particular needs.

About the Author

Stephane Ibos co-founded Maestrano, along with Arnaud Lachaume, in 2013. The company attracted funding from leading investors and was quickly recognized as revolutionizing the way SMBs manage business systems in the cloud, soon achieving international success. Prior to Maestrano, Stephane managed complex technology projects in the defense industry. Stephane holds a Masters Degree and three bachelors in fundamental Sciences.

Edited by Alicia Young

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