Why Niche Software with Integrations is Replacing "All-in-One" Software Giants

The software market is constantly evolving; the recent trend towards specialized software has drastically changed the way we work and communicate. Companies now have the option of creating customized suites of software from SaaS and cloud-based tools that fit highly specific business needs. From collaboration tools to storage space, new software solutions are providing attractive alternatives to traditional "all-in-one" IWMS software.

There's a reason more and more companies are choosing highly flexible niche software. While it’s tempting to buy an established all-in-one system, often one size doesn’t fit all.

The Future of Software

Slack CEO and OfficeSpace client, Stewart Butterfield, recently discussed this trend with CNBC and was featured in Forbes, saying that companies will continue shifting toward software suites that are customized to fit their specific needs. What all of these suites have in common is a “connective tissue”, or a specific piece of software that can integrate with several other tools and function as the primary dashboard.

For Butterfield, this connective tissue is Slack, an instant messaging platform that can integrate with other vendors (including OfficeSpace) to serve as a single access point to a company’s complete tech toolkit. For facility managers, on the other hand, this central system could be OfficeSpace, which can collaborate with app, directory and sign on integrations including Namely, Workday, Slack and Microsoft Azure.

Why is integrated niche software better than an IWMS?

To create these specialized suites of software, each element must be designed for integration—as we like to say, they need to be able to talk to each other. This should be the most prominent feature when selecting the right software for your company, so that as more niche software enters the market, you can continue adding relevant integrations.

"There’s this proliferation of business product software categories [...] and there get to be more and more. We’re an 800 person company and we buy from 80 different vendors, and that's normal," Butterfield says.

Where an IWMS has limitations, niche software can continuously adapt, upgrading to new, more specialized options to improve the capabilities of your overall suite. While an IWMS is generally expensive and may require training or certification to use, niche integrations are nimble and cost-effective.

This alternative allows you to shed the features you don’t need and focus on those that are critical to your end user.

The trend Butterfield highlights is clear: more and more companies are turning to cloud-based SaaS vendors that can combine several highly specialized features and provide storage and access to large amounts of data from anywhere in the world. In fact, it is estimated that by 2018, 30% of service-centric companies will move the majority of their ERP (enterprise resource planning) applications to the cloud.

Niche software is adaptable, cost-effective and efficient. These customized suites help companies avoid the upfront risk of purchasing an expensive IWMS, and ensure that each integrated tool is a best-in-class product.

Learn more about specific Slack features that may benefit your office and how connected technologies can streamline operations for your workplace. 

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To watch the full CNBC interview click here
To read the full article in Forbes.com click here 

Photo: Flickr / kris krüg