The Pros and Cons of Best-of-Breed Solutions

(and Tips for Making the Switch)

Bas Roodbeen
31 October 2019

There’s little doubt that law firms are increasing spending on legal technologies. Historically, legal companies relied heavily on best-in-class enterprise systems. And, historically, these systems offered incredible benefits to law firms: a single database provided by a single supplier with a singer user-interface could bring together the operations of an entire firm – it was revolutionary. 

The advent of cloud-based technologies has shifted the balance from best-in-class to best-of-breed, however. The ‘good enough’ enterprise solutions are increasingly redundant. Meanwhile, best-of-breed solutions are going from strength to strength. In this post, we’ll outline the pros and cons of best-of-breed solutions and some tips that will make the transition to the future as seamless as possible:

Pros

Faster Implementation
One of the major perks of cloud-based best-of-breed applications is that they can be implemented quickly. You don’t need the tech vendors’ IT staff to attend your office, nor do you need to wait months or years to integrate software across multiple business areas, like you might with enterprise systems. Instead, you simply install the software and reap the benefits, like decreased data backup requirements and minimised impact on your existing server and operations.

The latest features and functions
Best-of-breed solutions need to operate at the cutting-edge of innovation to stay relevant. What this means for your firm is that your tech provider will continually strive to offer you the latest and greatest features and functionality in a timely manner. These updates are often included in your monthly subscription fee so, unlike with enterprise systems, you don’t need to pay more to access these new features.

Products that respond to pain points
Best-of-breed solutions are typically developed in response to specific pain points experienced across an industry. In the legal marketplace, these applications often focus on saving time by creating efficiencies, automating rote and repetitive work, or reducing the administrative burden on lawyers. TIQ, for instance, addresses issues associated with legal billing by significantly reducing the amount of time lawyers spend entering their billable hours.

Cons

Upskilling your workforce
Your staff will need to be trained in the use of any of the pain-point specific solutions you decide to implement, which can be time consuming. However, the tech designers bear this in mind in its development.

Integration issues
Enterprise systems are designed to operate across business areas, while best-of-breed cloud solutions focus on just one area. This means that multiple integrations may be required to address the issues your firm faces, which does leave space for error in integration. With this in mind, designers spend significant amounts of time working to ensure that the systems talk to one another. We previously wrote an article about TIQ’s agile implementation schedule.

Tips for making the switch
The rollout of your best-of-breed application needs to be carefully considered so any disruption to your operations is as insignificant as possible. Planning and communication are both key factors that will influence how smoothly your implementation schedule proceeds.

Training, scheduling and business continuity planning must be undertaken at firm level. This means that, while management certainly needs to be privy to the process, your entire staff should be kept in the loop about the details of the new technology and how its implementation will likely affect firm operations in the near future.

Get in touch with us today to schedule a demonstration.

 

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