Best-of-Breed vs. All-in-One HR Technology Solutions

When it comes to choosing an HR technology solution, there are two main options: best-of-breed and all-in-one. Each approach has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to weigh the pros and cons carefully before making a decision.

Best-of-Breed Solutions

Best-of-breed solutions are made up of a variety of different software products, each of which specialises in a specific area of HR. For example, you might have one product for payroll, another for recruiting, and another again for performance management.

The main advantage of best-of-breed solutions is that they offer greater flexibility and configuration options. By choosing the best product for each people process, you can create a solution that is perfectly tailored to your specific requirements. Additionally, best-of-breed solutions are often more cost-effective than all-in-one solutions, because you only pay for the features you need.

However, there are also some disadvantages to best-of-breed solutions. One is that they can be more difficult to implement and manage, because you have to integrate multiple different products to get your data updating seamlessly. Additionally, best-of-breed solutions may not offer the same level of integration with other business systems, such as your CRM or ERP, as you are relying on another vendor being willing to create the integration.

All-in-One Solutions

All-in-one solutions are a single, integrated software product that covers all aspects of the employee lifecycle. This includes payroll, recruiting, performance management, and more.

The main advantage of all-in-one solutions is that they are easy to implement and manage. Because they are a single product, there is no need to integrate multiple different HR systems. 

However, there are also some disadvantages to all-in-one solutions. One is that they can be more expensive than best-of-breed solutions, because you are paying for features you may not need. Additionally, all-in-one solutions may not offer the same level of flexibility and customisation as best-of-breed solutions.  All in one solutions look to address the majority of needs, but the scope of the product offering means they cannot be the best in market for every module that is available.

Choosing the Right Solution

The best way to choose the right HR technology solution for your organisation is to carefully consider your specific needs and requirements. If you need a high level of flexibility and customisation, then a best-of-breed solution may be the best option for you. If you are looking for an easy-to-use solution that is cost-effective, then an all-in-one solution may be a better fit.

Ultimately, the best way to decide is to speak with us at Evoke HR. As experienced HR technology consultants we can help you assess your needs and recommend the best solution for your organisation.

Additional Considerations

In addition to the advantages and disadvantages listed above, there are a few other factors to consider when choosing between best-of-breed and all-in-one HR technology solutions. These include:

  • Your organisation’s size and complexity: If you have a small or simple organisation, then an all-in-one solution may be a good option. However, if you have a large or complex organisation, then you may need the flexibility and customisation of a best-of-breed solution.
  • Your budget: All-in-one solutions are typically more expensive than best-of-breed solutions. However, the cost of an all-in-one solution may be offset by the ease of implementation and management.
  • Your IT capabilities: If your organisation has strong IT capabilities, then you may be able to implement and manage a best-of-breed solution. However, if your organisation’s IT capabilities are limited, then an all-in-one solution may be a better option.
  • Perhaps the best outcome for your organisation isn’t one or the other, but a hybrid: a mix of a unified solution with one or two best-of-breed modules to address your specific process challenges

There is no single “best” HR technology solution. The best solution for your organisation will depend on your specific needs and requirements. And these may change over time as your people processes change and mature.

By carefully considering your options and weighing the pros and cons, you can choose the right solution for your organisation.

Overall RiskLowHigh 
You are selecting one system – what if it doesn’t work out or vendor is acquired/goes bust?
Cost and time to implementShortLong
Capabilities, features & functionsBest available, specialisedLess robust, more generic
Risk of e’ee dissatisfactionLow
Solutions designed for specific needs 
Medium to High
Risk having a ‘part solution’ and not solving user problems
User Experience (UX) and UsabilityMultiple disparate interfaces and mixed UXCommon UX and interface
Tight IntegrationCan be achieved through integrationsYes
Better integration across modules (but not always)
Customer SupportMultiple vendors to deal with can be harder to manage, but may also mean you get more attention from each vendorSingle vendor, single support point so easier to manage. Vendors tend to be larger companies: will you get the attention you need
CostHigher per-module cost
Incremental investment as needs arise
Pay for the functionality you need
Can negotiate price breaks on multiple modules

Author – Kristy Lane