Decision-makers in the IT industry are repeatedly faced with the question of how they can design their system landscape in the most efficient way possible. Not an easy decision to make when you consider the numerous aspects that are involved in selecting the right business software. Which software offers the most suitable features? How much does it cost to purchase and implement it? How does the software fit into company’s internal processes? These are just some of the important questions that arise. Software should be selected carefully as it can have a significant impact on the company’s success. The best-of-breed philosophy has evolved as a result of this selection strategy.
What is the best-of-breed philosophy?
This selection strategy focuses on finding and applying the best solution for each respective area. This means choosing several customised solutions from various manufacturers. Each of these cover a different area of application but are still interconnected. This works particularly well with interfaces and connectors. The best-of-breed approach is in contrast to a selection strategy where an overarching software is chosen to cover all areas of application in an all-in-one solution.
What are the benefits?
- __Enables highly flexible system landscapes
__A huge benefit of the best-of-breed strategy is that is enables high levels of flexibility for businesses. This way, companies can openly confront future extensions and adjustments. This makes them agile and flexible, enabling them to react to market changes much more quickly and gain a competitive edge.
- __Modular and extendable
__With this approach, businesses can continue to utilise established solutions that have succeeded in the past. In addition, individual systems that no longer offer the best solution can be replaced more easily than all-in-one solutions. This also makes businesses less reliant on software providers.
- __Customised to the business
__Best-of-breed solutions can be more easily customised to a company’s internal processes and specific requirements than all-in-one solutions. This is because businesses can use the systems that suit their objectives best.
To what extent does Shopware offer best-of-breed?
Shopware offers a modular ecommerce platform. With Shopware 5 software and the successor version Shopware 6, customers can set up online shops and expand them according to their requirements using plugins and interfaces as well as connecting them to other systems. Shopware maintains a large ecosystem made up of technology partners and more than 1,200 partner agencies.
Shopware AG’s main focus is providing and developing ecommerce software. Many related topics are outsourced to external technology providers. These providers have already established themselves in their respective areas and can be connected to the Shopware platform via interfaces. This is made possible by the API-first approach that has been consistently pursued with Shopware 6. Shop functionalities can be controlled centrally via the API. This also enables the connection of third-party integrations, for example in the area of personalisation, ERP, payment and much more.
A closer look at the extensions landscape illustrates this well. In the Shopware Community Store, online store operators can choose from over 4,000 extensions. Only a few of those extensions were developed by Shopware itself. The majority were developed by external providers. Only after careful examination by said providers and Shopware in terms of quality, support and compatibility do they make their way into the Shopware Community Store. In principle, the ecosystem development is continually being boosted so that Shopware 6 continues to gain in importance as well.
Fulfilling individual requirements
The background to this: Customers differ from one another and have individual requirements. They can choose from numerous options based on the large ecosystem. Shopware’s technological basis supports this idea of looking towards the future. As Shopware Account Manager Udo Harwardt puts it: “When we were developing Shopware 6, we had a look at the ecommerce/software landscape of the future and thought: Hey, we need to develop a software which can handle any ecommerce requirements that may come up.”
A good example of this is Voice Commerce, which experienced extreme hype in 2018 and 2019. Although the hype has somewhat levelled out for now, it is quite likely that this issue will become relevant once again. In situations like this, it is crucial to have software that can handle this.
It is recommended that businesses evaluate the best-of-breed approach when creating their system landscape, particularly taking into consideration the company’s internal processes and requirements.
On the other hand, IT software providers should ask themselves what their place is in the software world and which solutions they would like to provide. In doing so, it makes sense to rely on partners who cover their own specialist areas and are true experts in their field.
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