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Best-of-Breed vs. Native Functionality: Which is Best for the Enterprise?

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Best-of-breed solutions can help you create top-notch enterprise applications. Warren Chen, Unqork’s VP of Marketplace, gives us a rundown on BoB’s benefits.

When you’re putting together the technology stack for your enterprise web application, you can take one of three paths—you can purchase a product suite from a single vendor, build your own native functionality for every application, or populate your applications with best-of-breed technology.

But what is best-of-breed, or BoB, technology? Is one approach better than the other? We spoke to Warren Chen, VP of Marketplace here at Unqork, to find out! Here’s his take on why enterprises should opt for best-of-breed technology instead of native functionality.

What is best-of-breed technology?

Best-of-breed technology is a catch-all term for the leading applications, solutions, or software within a given niche. Enterprises using a best-of-breed approach can mix and match different solutions to create a technology stack that best suits their needs, instead of having to purchase an entire product suite from one vendor or build everything from scratch. “This helps ensure you’re choosing the best, most complete solution for each use case,” Warren explains.

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There are numerous advantages to choosing a best-of-breed approach. Perhaps the biggest benefit is you get to equip your application with the creme de la creme of solutions. Other benefits include:

  • Brand recognition: When users see your application features a well-known name like AdobeSign or GoogleMaps, they’re more likely to trust you as a company. This can help boost adoption and retention rates.

  • Scalability: With a best-of-breed approach, you can start small with the technology you need and add more features as your business grows

  • Rapid innovation & ROI: Best-of-breed technologies are typically built on the latest and greatest technology, which means they’re better designed to adapt to change and help you innovate. Plus, they’re quicker to deploy and easier to adopt than single-vendor solutions or native functionality, helping you get to market faster. 

Choosing best-of-breed over native functionality

“These days,” Warren asserts, “all enterprises should be thinking about best-of-breed technologies, but should not consider best-of-breed or native functionality in a vacuum.” While native functionality enables you to customize functionality to fit your unique business needs, it also requires a great deal of time and energy to build and support. Meanwhile, best-of-breed approaches help you save time, maximize resources, and reduce costs so you can get better products to market faster—but you need to consider how to integrate them with your whole IT technology stack. 

In order to take advantage of everything best-of-breed technologies have to offer, you have to bring them together into one cohesive ecosystem. Unfortunately, that’s easier said than done. If you’re using a traditional development platform, it will be challenging to leverage BoB solutions due to integration issues. The only way to handle multiple complex systems, databases, and vendors effectively is to ensure they are integrated in the backend so you don't have data silos.

With code, configuring backend integrations is frustrating, time-consuming, and contributes to an ever-growing codebase and technical debt. Best-of-breed technologies can’t advance your business if you can’t properly connect them, which makes using a code-based best-of-breed ecosystem incredibly difficult. Other pain points of using BoB solutions on code platforms include:

  • Data silos: When there are multiple systems and applications involved, accurate data sharing can be difficult

  • High operating costs: If best-of-breed ecosystems aren’t managed properly, the total cost of ownership can be quite high. Also, you have to consider the costs of purchasing multiple licensing agreements or vendor relationships.

  • Inconsistent appearance: This might seem like a minute concern, but three-quarters of users will assess a company’s credibility by design alone. The BoB technologies you choose might not have a similar look, which could compromise your app’s aesthetic appeal.

On Unqork, “you can build tons of integrations without writing a line of code. You gain flexibility like you’re building a native custom solution, while still leveraging the benefits of a BoB ecosystem,” Warren notes.

With an enterprise-grade no-code platform like Unqork, you can build your application with the best BoB solutions available without worrying about how it will all come together. On Unqork, “you can build tons of integrations without writing a line of code. You gain flexibility like you’re building a native custom solution, while still leveraging the benefits of a BoB ecosystem,” Warren notes. In short, you get the best of both worlds.

Creating an integrated ecosystem with Unqork

At Unqork, we believe building high-quality software doesn’t involve reinventing the wheel—by that, we mean your team shouldn’t spend valuable time building elements or flows that other enterprise tech companies have built well already. That’s why we collaborate with Technology Partners to bring our Creators the best of the best and help them continuously level up. Our no-code platform makes it easy to bring these best-of-breed technologies together under one roof in a BoB ecosystem that’s secure, scalable, and high-performing.

Also, we just unveiled a brand new way to create an integrated ecosystem on Unqork—the Unqork Marketplace! The Marketplace offers pre-built integrations for the most commonly used endpoints like Docusign and Google Maps, so adding functionality to your application is easier than ever before.  “If you have an idea of a use-case you want to solve,” says Warren, “you can build a solution faster on Unqork Marketplace than you could from scratch.”

We are excited to unveil the Unqork Marketplace. See how we can help turn once unthinkable capabilities into business reality. 

Unqork’s COVID-19 Rent Relief project is a recent example of how no-code helps bring different best-of-breed solutions together. Using reusable components and pre-built snippets from the Marketplace, Unqork enabled local agencies to use end-to-end workflows, integrate with local databases, and customize experiences to rapidly create life-saving applications. “No-code capabilities brought building time down from months to weeks,” Warren reveals.

The Marketplace is just getting started, but Warren and other Unqorkers are already looking toward the future. “To accelerate adoption, we want to support more tools from our Technology Partners,” explains Warren. “By bringing more tools into the Creator’s toolbox, we hope to increase productivity even further.” With no-code supported by Unqork and the Marketplace, you and your team can build a strong, multi-faceted best-of-breed ecosystem more efficiently than you ever imagined.