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The Pros and Cons of Working with Big vs Small System Integrators

The Pros and Cons of Working with Big vs Small System Integrators

As the world continues to move into the digital space, it’s becoming more and more crucial for businesses to ride the wave and have an online presence, especially during these unprecedented times. In the face of an ongoing global health crisis that has led millions of employees to work from home and different cities to observe lockdown measures, ecommerce is more than just thriving. 

In fact, US ecommerce grew by 49% in April compared to early March. This was largely due to the increase in online sales, as well as the 60% increase in click-and-collect sales, bringing end-of-year sales expectations to approximately $74 billion.

In recent years, computer science graduates have been transforming the ecommerce industry through their education on programming, software development, and data security. By identifying potential improvements to current technologies, they are making the ecommerce marketplace more advanced than ever before, providing companies with the innovative approaches they need for success. 

However, statistics show that there is a looming shortage of computer science degree graduates, with a projected 1 million spots left unfilled by 2024. As a result, businesses of all shapes and sizes are in search of qualified experts to help them keep up with the latest technology trends. Today, system integrations are a key component in making an enterprise successful online and offline. 

Simply put, system integrations refer to an IT or engineering process that are primarily concerned with linking different subsystems or components into one large system. This is done to ensure that each subsystem functions as required and that the new functionalities provided by connecting the functions of different systems are achieved. In the long run, integrating your systems can also result in a lot of benefits such as increasing revenue. It can also improve customer services, enhance employee communication and collaboration, as well as improved productivity and data accuracy. In order to reap all these benefits, finding the right system integrator is essential. To help you decide, here are some of the pros and cons of working with big system integrators versus small system integrators.

Larger system integrators

The Pros and Cons of Working with Big vs Small System IntegratorsMany companies are likely to go for a tier 1 system integrator, such as IBM or Accenture, because they are well-known brands that have years of experience and expertise, they can offer a wide range of implementation resources to a particular project, and have numerous awards to boast of. For instance, IBM has been around since 1911 and has bagged dozens of awards in different fields, such as the Smart Energy Decisions Innovation Award and the 2017 Circle of Excellence Award, among others. Likewise, Accenture, being a Fortune Global 500 company serving clients in more than 200 cities in 120 countries, has been named the World’s Most Admired Information Technology Services company for both 2019 and 2020. With how established such companies are, enterprises considering hiring their services can rest assured that their system integrators would be around to address later modifications.

However, since everyone is vying for large and established system integrators, companies should brace themselves for a slower turnaround time. It would also be a good idea to prepare for more expensive services, because they would be paying not just for the services provided, but also the brand.

Smaller system integrators

Although smaller system integrators don’t have years of experience — or tons of awards to back them up — they do often specialize in certain industries or geographical regions, enabling them to offer expertise and advantages that some larger firms can’t. For instance, up and coming firms such as Kinetech Clouds offer services that are more applicable to certain industries such as manufacturing, construction, and government-specific technology. This characteristic makes smaller firms more appropriate for smaller deployments, as well as small and medium-sized businesses. 

There can also be some price benefit to retaining the services of smaller firms because they tend to be more affordable by about 10% on average, and are far more flexible when it comes to pricing plans. However, like most things in life, advantages come with disadvantages. Due to the lack of readily available resources, smaller system integrators might not have good quality control and set processes. Since they are still in their formative years, there is also no assurance that they may still be around to make later changes, making it difficult to find system integrators that can continue the work they’ve already put in place. Clients might also run into some disadvantages that are characteristic of larger integration firms, such as slower turnaround, because smaller firms can be easily overwhelmed by just a few new clients.

Medium-sized system integrators

The Pros and Cons of Working with Big vs Small System IntegratorsWith both small and large firms coming with their own sets of advantages and disadvantages, it’s more than likely that your best bet would be medium-sized system integrators. These kinds of firms are not only fit for both small and large enterprises, but they can also offer specialized and general expertise that can benefit businesses from any industry. Medium-sized firms also tend to be more flexible in many aspects, including prices and services offered. 

As a blooming company that is not too young or not too old, they are definitely here to stay so clients wouldn’t have to worry about the maintenance of their integrated systems. The right balance that these firms offer can also offset the fear of slow turnaround or inconsistent quality service. Although there is always the option to go with a multi-provider approach, meaning getting the services of both small and big firms, the more cost-effective option would always be to go for companies that can do both. 

Finding the right system integrator can be quite a daunting task, but it’s a necessary one nonetheless. To make sure that you get the services of a system integrator that can cater to your needs, it would be a good idea to go over the kinds of projects your company has in mind, your future plans, the budget you are willing to spend, and your company’s culture. Then, compare all these to the services, culture, and prices that your prospective system integrator provides to find the best match for you.

PS: UV is one of the world’s leading Salesforce Commerce Cloud (Demandware) consultancies. Contact us to see how we can work together.

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