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By Bruce van Wyk, Director, PaySpace

When it comes to software, businesses are now spoilt for choice: many processes that used to be time-consuming or frustrating can now be automated or greatly simplified.

But just because a business can use multiple applications from multiple vendors doesn’t mean they’ll work together automatically and harmoniously – or indeed at all. In many organisations, software siloing is becoming a major issue with detrimental effects on the business. In fact, companies that don’t address the issue may find themselves outpaced by their more agile, more informed, and more collaborative rivals.

When information is shared seamlessly via standardised digital platforms, businesses benefit from superior insights – giving them a technological and competitive edge.

The best-of-breed approach – whereby you buy different software and technology for different purposes and stack them on top of each other, rather than work with one vendor for all your needs – offers greater control over specific requirements. Indeed, if a company wants to see improvement in a certain area – for example, payroll management – it’s worth investing in a truly specialist product.

Some companies are put off by the idea of having to work with multiple vendors, but the process is made much simpler nowadays than ever before. Here’s how software providers and businesses are creating a holistic and harmonious tech ecosystem.

Launch of the single integrated platform

To avoid siloing and to offer better solutions to customers, more and more software providers are coming together to offer users a single integrated platform.

This is a clear boon for the buyer: each contributor to the ecosystem will still focus on the core business function that they originally set out to support, whilst playing nicely with all the other software systems in the mix. One example of a functioning ecosystem might be Xero, PaySpace, and Breezy HR: the former manages accounting, PaySpace manages payroll, and the latter manages recruitment – each taken care of by dedicated experts, and each working together in perfect harmony.

Creating cross-team collaboration

Software shouldn’t operate in silos, and neither should teams. Interdependent software can prevent teams from becoming too isolated. If the software that one department is using works well with the software being used by another department, a business can foster better collaboration between those departments. They can share information seamlessly.

Expert assistance

A knowledgeable and accessible support team is a crucial factor in choosing a software vendor. By continuing with individual suppliers within an holistic technology ecosystem, a business can still access expert customer service dedicated to the specific issue at hand. There’s no compromise on getting access to the best support and subject specialists in a specific field.

The role of cloud

Cloud-based software opens up opportunities for businesses to improve their internal business processes – but it also provides an easy means of upselling other services to clients. Companies that use cloud ecosystems also have the option of using them to help them build new business models.

For example, an accounting company can easily white label and integrate accounting and payroll software – and then offer payroll service alongside the main accounting function. Cloud-based software enables this: it can be easily accessed and integrated into existing business processes. In addition, a cloud ecosystem makes it easier to collect data and analyse how each part of the system affects other parts – meaning that inefficiencies can be noticed quickly, which is a good way to flag issues to clients and to keep them happy.

The technology a business chooses is key to creating the best possible ecosystem, and a critical part of its success. There are plenty of plug and play options that can get a company up and running very quickly, but businesses that invest in an holistic and fully considered technology ecosystem will be better equipped to tackle the challenges of the modern commercial environment head-on.