"Best-of-breed" technology is a term in the tech community that refers to individual solutions that are really good in their specific area. Actually, best-of-breed refers to the best solutions out there—based on customer reviews and tech ratings—compared to a single platform that can do everything, but may not do each function as well as a single solution dedicated to that specific capability.
"Best of breed" technology can help companies build their own perfect tech stack by connecting the best single solutions of their kind—similar to building the fantasy basketball league of products. But, building that stack seamlessly can be difficult to do.
One way to solve it?
Orchestration. More on that, later.
Advantages of Best-of-Breed Technology
With any technology strategy, it's important to know what to consider before diving in. Understanding the pros and cons of best-of-breed technology before you make any investments can ensure your resources are spent wisely.
Let's begin with the pros. What are the advantages of best-of-breed technology, especially over single platform/suite solutions in general?:
More specific focus, leading to better fit and functionality.
Easier to switch to something else if necessary, making you more agile in responding to business needs.
Less risk of vendor lock-in.
Potentially faster ROI due to faster/cheaper implementation and lighter training.
Less stakeholders involved in the decision and management of a point solution.
Disadvantages of Best-of-Breed Technology
Although using a best-of-breed approach can bring enormous benefits to your business simply due to the performance potential of each individual solution, there are some disadvantages to using these solutions to build your unique technology stack.
Some of the cons of best-of-breed technology include:
The complexity of integrating different technology solutions to work together seamlessly.
Different owners of different solutions make it hard to have an overarching strategy.
Potentially larger investment, without the economies of scale you may see with large platforms.
The risk of paying for redundancy, as individual solutions may overlap in functionality with each other.
Fragmented support—your IT team may have to go to multiple organizations for help and advice, or to determine where a problem lies.
Generally, the biggest disadvantages with best-of-breed technology come in the form of the challenges of putting them together, which can lead to other issues. But, if you know how to overcome these best-of-breed challenges, you should be in good shape.
An Easy Solution for Your Solutions: Orchestration
So, how can you realize the benefits of best-of-breed technology, while minimizing many of the downsides that come with bringing it all together? Ultimately, you have to make a bunch of different solutions operate in tandem in order to create a seamless user journey and end-to-end user experiences that don't feel cobbled together.
The good news is there is a solution that bridges the best of both worlds, known as "orchestration." With orchestration, linking together all your preferred best-of-breed solutions becomes a lot easier and faster.
More specifically in the identity security space, identity orchestration refers to a flexible integration framework that allows you to design automated workflows for different identity use cases such as authentication, identity proofing and fraud detection. It allows you to break down silos between your various identity and access management systems and apps with no code/low code integrations.
Is Best-of-Breed Technology Right for Me?
If you're debating adopting a best-of-breed strategy for your business, hopefully you have gained more insight to help you make that decision. By understanding the pros and cons, you can mitigate some of the challenges and realize more of the benefits that the single best solutions out there can bring you.
First and foremost, it's important to understand that using best-of-breed technology is just one way for businesses to be successful. There are platforms out there that are dedicated to providing many high-quality solutions under one umbrella, and those shouldn't be dismissed—always do your research, because what works best for other companies may not be best for you.
If you decide best-of-breed is the way you want to go for your identity security strategy, then consider identity orchestration as a solution to bring your favorite tools together. Start by learning more about orchestration and what it can do for your business.