Firms going through the software selection process will often pause at some point and ask the question: do we want a best-of-breed or all-in-one solution?
It’s an important question, but it overlooks a third option – a hybrid solution.
Before we get to the hybrid solution, let’s quickly recap the definitions of ‘best-of-breed’ and ‘all-in-one’.
A hybrid solution is a technology stack comprised of best-of-breed solutions and a base all-in-one solution. The rationale for this approach is logical:
The allure of an all-in-one solution nevertheless persist for many. Gartner explains the problem with this approach:
Although enterprise resource planning (ERP) vendors offer numerous enterprise applications and claim that their integrated system is a superior solution, all modules in an ERP system are rarely best-of-breed.
Think of it this way: a primary care doctor is fine for a common ailment, but if the problem is serious, you’ll need a specialist whose expertise runs deep. But here a hybrid solution is optimal too: primary care doctors and specialists work together to give you the best overall outcome.
Addressing this from our viewpoint as a HR solution provider, firms need to think through what’s simple and operational to determine the composition of their hybrid approach:
From our field of performance and feedback, two examples come to mind:
1. Moving to a real-time feedback culture is an ambition for many professional firms. It sounds great, but it’s not easy. But a smart, fit for purpose system will be able to adapt to the structure, culture and cadence of the individual firm (or groups) to find the right approach. It will work in concert with formal review process.
2. Partner contribution management software must be highly flexible. It must fit hand in glove with the partnership agreement, governance and decision making process and the operations of the Remuneration Committee. To this end, we’ve observed a phenomenon when it comes to partners, where medium and large sized firms eschew generalist systems in favour of bespoke solutions.
So, when you pause to ask the question: do we want a best-of-breed or all-in-one solution, remember there’s a middle way: a hybrid solution that addresses strategic needs, cost concerns and user experience.
Performance Leader helps your firm build a culture that engages, develops and rewards your partners and employees. Our market leading software is used by some of the world's leading professional firms. To learn more, talk to us or book a demo with our consulting & software team.
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