Integrated vs. Modular
Custom Applications, Integrated Systems, and Business Infrastructure can be extremely expensive in terms of time and cost to build – each is developed to suit exact Business models and Marketing models. This becomes expensive considering the IT department required to maintain and operate it, before thinking about scaling when your business grows.
This sets up a cycle in which growth actually becomes de-incentivized, if not cost prohibitive, to do quickly, and it brings unconventional costs that raise Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) in unexpected ways with each year the system matures.
Big Business leaders are happy to invest in this technology wheel, leaving Small Business, Micro-Producers and Entrepreneurs:
- to fend for themselves.
- flapping in the wind.
- to wallow in their own scale.
- all of the above.
Humor aside, some savvy entrepreneurs finally found their Champion in 3rd Party Services following the SAAS model. These allow significant business components to be leveraged without the high ticket costs.
Familiar with SAAS, iPAAS, and IAAS? Let another company do the heavy lifting, and allow their B2B model to make your B2C model functional and affordable. You are not supposed to be in the Technology business- let them do what they are good at so you can focus on what you are good at. Makes perfect sense!
This works due to the Law of Economy of Scale. Rather than build one system specifically for you and you alone, the system is built for you, and thousands like you.
Not that we really believe there are thousands like you…
Several incredibly productive and advanced tools exist for entrepreneurs and online marketers- tools like ClickFunnels™, with Zapier™ creating integrations between a multitude of 3rd party services, it’s incredible. There are even Integrations for your Integrations! Reminds me of High School when as teens our zits had zits.
(yeah, we went there…)
There are, in addition, a few platforms created as fully integrated systems, and one system capable of handling big box office is NewKajabi™.
These are powerful systems at scale…
It’s about being productive, and remaining responsive in a shifting market space. The Small Business needs to pivot at times, even when a niche is clearly defined. The mission might remain the same, but when the action changes it’s like being in a small sailboat when the winds suddenly reverse at double force.
Not even giant corporate structures can maneuver quickly (though “Agile” Systems development are all they seem to talk about), but for Small Business there are definitely some outstanding systems creating productivity and the ability to automate portions of your business.
Part of the “secret sauce” to understand how to create the right system was in understanding the exact specifications within the business model, otherwise it would never be properly served. Like a poorly measured house which becomes crooked, weak, and eventually falls under its own weight, small errors in Systems Architecture only compound over time. Technical debt has destroyed Corporations and even well funded Small Business and Entrepreneurs. It’s all about scale- and sometimes not even Millions can hold the line.
Big Business and Small Business alike have fallen victim to ill-suited tech systems, and we have not only seen it, we’ve called it far in advance. What were they thinking?
The one barrier that prevents most “Small Business” owners from stepping into bigger shoes is the massive scale in which Owning and Maintaining a completely custom system finally becomes possible. More than cost, it is the overall organizational requirements that dictate how such systems will operate.
Imagine an assembly line. This is a typical thought of how Big Business divides labor into the smallest tasks, requiring perhaps 150 moving parts to make the entire “machine” produce.
Most Small Business literally cannot afford paying 150 employees to operate. Now – don’t try this at home for too long- but Imagine that your Website, or your Business Software required 150 employees to operate, maintain, and extend it to meet new demands. Whoa!
Small Business operates at a scale making good use of 3rd Party Services – SAAS, iPAAS and IAAS. This is affordable on the surface of it, yet most systems never quite satisfy the exact business/marketing model needed, investing in customizations and integrations never really become “yours”, therefore the cycle is about continuously leasing intellectual property- and never really achieving sustainability or ROI from the system itself.
Next it requires specific knowledge of the strengths and weaknesses of each service to understand whether – or if- any of these could be integrated properly.