Whether it’s an exceptional dog or the ideal solution to a technical challenge, everyone
loves the best of breed. What’s not to love? In the dog world, the best of breed is the most
outstanding representative of its kind. In the IT world, the best of breed is the best solution
for a specific business need. But even the most beautiful purebred four-legged friend—or
the most elegant targeted solution—has its shortcomings.

Choosing best of breed IT solutions to fulfill the needs within distinct business functions
was a popular trend over the past decade or longer. Unfortunately, as many organizations
have already discovered, attempting to address department-level IT challenges with best
of breed solutions can slowly erode your competitiveness in the market. This approach has
become increasingly impractical and ineffective because it creates disparate silos of
information that limit your ability to make strategic, enterprise-wide decisions.

Now that human capital management (HCM) software platforms are more powerful and
affordable than ever, an integrated enterprise HCM has become the true best of breed
option for mid-sized and larger organizations.

Disparate Systems Create Inefficiencies

When it comes to choosing technology, the natural instinct is to go with solutions that are
best known for increasing efficiency and productivity in a particular area or function. So it
makes sense that for many years, HR and Finance departments have selected the best
tools for specific tasks their staff needs to perform (i.e. talent acquisition, time and
attendance tracking, payroll processing, benefits administration).
Dedicated tools make sense on the department level, and in an environment with a low
level of complexity. But difficulties arise when managing human capital becomes more
complex, when information needs to be shared outside of the department, and when
compliance with ever-changing government regulations becomes difficult to manage.
As an organization grows, best of breed solutions are unable to handle the new demands
placed on them. This forces managers to look for additional solutions to take care of each
new requirement. Soon, the organization has assembled a large collection of disparate
systems that can’t communicate with each other, thereby adding unnecessary complexities
to workflow processes.

Using Excel as a Band-Aid, Eventually You Have to Rip and Replace

In order to “fix” the problem created by multiple databases and point solutions, managers
typically default to a well-known and common piece of software: Microsoft Excel. Importing
data from other systems and databases into Excel is often the only way managers can
integrate data so that it can be analyzed, reported, and understood.

As any HR or Finance professional who has tried this quick fix will attest, Excel is not
the most effective, timely or accurate solution for quickly and easily generating reports
necessary to meet regulatory or C-suite demands. The integrity of the data can be easily
compromised because the process of manually exporting and importing data presents
countless opportunities for error and workflow inefficiencies. Mistakes at any point can
cause a cascade of errors that are difficult to identify and correct.

Disparate point solutions may be the right choice when they are applied to a very specific
function. However, they lose their value within the context of a complex and dynamic
organization that relies on having instant access to the type of enterprise-wide intelligence
that fuels strategic business decisions.

Discover the Road to a Single Point of Truth

An integrated, enterprise-class HCM is the most cost-effective, long-term solution to deliver
the breadth of functionality and the ability to share data across the organization. Because
an enterprise HCM shares data across a wide range of specific functions, information from
those functions is seamlessly integrated into a single source of truth. The integrity of the
data is ensured because there is no need for manual exporting, importing, or reporting.
Also, all levels of management have easy and direct access to real-time data.
The best way for organizations to manage their human capital while empowering strategic
decision-making is to deploy an enterprise HCM. With it, departments will have the tools
they need to handle their specific functions without being isolated in an information silo,
and managers throughout the organization will have the information they need to achieve
their business goals.