All-in-one solutions will start to become extinct

A person indicating a laptop screen with work on it.
(Image credit: RawPixel / Pexels)

Many businesses tend to choose an all-in-one software solution that covers everything they need in a certain area - or multiple areas - of their business. And why blame them? You’re short on time, you need to make a quick decision, so you go for the one solution that will solve as many of your problems in one go.

Over the years, however, instead of solving more problems, all-in-one solutions will only cause more problems. The one-size-fits-all approach means that you’re locked into using a vendor exclusively, but also you end up paying for features you don’t even use. More importantly, as technology progresses, you are unable to build on your software and integrate it with new integrations and innovations. As many businesses experience this they will eventually switch to a decoupled approach with best-of-breed composable solutions that give them flexibility and scalability over the long run.

What is composable technology?

Composable technology is a new approach to constructing and managing software solutions for businesses. It is transforming the way small companies and big enterprises operate by enabling them to compose their systems from loosely coupled, modular components. There are an unlimited number of component combinations creating unprecedented business agility, flexibility, and scalability.

You can also apply the composable approach to your overall business. Gartner, after all, called the future of business composable. It means building your business with interchangeable building blocks. A kind of modular setup that enables your business to rearrange and reorient as needed depending on external (or internal) factors like a shift in customer values or sudden change in supply chain or materials. The pandemic and its associated lockdowns have made this approach even more popular. It is no surprise that the composable infrastructure market size is predicted to increase from $5.69bn in 2024 to $13.46bn in 2029.

Alexander Feiglstorfer

CTO and co-founder of Storyblok.

What are all-in-one solutions?

Simply put, it is a single platform that combines various tools and workflows by eliminating the need for multiple software applications. Although the “one-size-fits-all” type of software has many advantages as it aims to centralize all your data, workflows and tools into one place, its drawbacks arguably exceed them. Usually, this type of software cannot specialize in all areas, resulting in unsatisfactory workflows. 

The long list of features in all-in-one software can overwhelm users who only need a fraction of its tools, making it less user-friendly. More importantly, dependence on a single software vendor can lead to vendor lock-in, where it becomes challenging to switch to alternative solutions or migrate data. On top of that all-in-one solutions tend to follow monolithic architecture, making it harder to connect it to other software or other business operations and eventually slows down product innovation for developers.

Futureproof your tech stack

There are now solutions that are flexible, adaptable, scalable and that can be easily integrated with other applications that your business uses. This means you have the freedom to build a suite of tools that work for your business. In addition, you also have the flexibility to swap out different solutions as your business needs develop.

As an example let’s look at your CMS needs. For this, I would recommend a headless CMS solution which follows the aforementioned composable architecture. This is a back-end-only CMS consisting of structured content storage, an administration interface for content creators, and an API that allows different systems to consume the content. Thanks to this approach your business gains the freedom of having your content accessed on different platforms across the digital world — something which a traditional (monolithic) CMS would not be capable of.

Identifying just what you need comes down to how you think about the future of your business and its digital journey across all departments. As consumers continue to crave personalization, creating a suite of tools that enables you to amend content quickly and easily is essential. So too is the ability to leverage existing customer data and other information streams to provide tailored and relevant information. A headless CMS that is flexible enough and can output content in different channels enables this type of digital strategy.

Everything from delivering dynamic content on your website through to post-conversion follow up to timely customer service responses needs to happen. This requires having a business that is multidisciplinary and cross-functional. The users of your CMS need to have data, development, commercial and marketing skills and, critically, ensuring a regular flow of information between departments is essential. For example, data gleaned from marketing can inform product development and data gathered from areas such as customer service are needed to enable a truly personal experience. This becomes even more useful as CMS use widens and organizational cross-collaboration happens more.

This may seem like a lot of work to set up, but by bringing flexibility and futureproofing your business operations, the rewards from best-of-breed composable software are substantial. Our survey revealed that 82.91% of businesses have seen improvements in ROI, budget, and performance since making the switch to a headless CMS.

We've listed the best content marketing tool.

This article was produced as part of TechRadarPro's Expert Insights channel where we feature the best and brightest minds in the technology industry today. The views expressed here are those of the author and are not necessarily those of TechRadarPro or Future plc. If you are interested in contributing find out more here:

Alexander Feiglstorfer is the CTO and co-founder of Storyblok.