Best-of-Breed Vs. Jack-of-All-Trades

A reaction to the article “Best-of-breed trumps jack-of-all-trades” By Roy Russell

Roy Russell recently published a good article in Legal IT Today magazine titled “Best-of-breed trumps jack-of-all-trades” delving into comparing best-of-breed software to jack-of-all-trades applications. This article is very relevant since LawBase is a best-of-breed brand of software.

Russell begins by explaining the desire businesses have to transform and evolve and how these transformations usually begin with improving communication streams (i.e., email and documents) since these are the avenues utilized most frequently by attorneys and their staff. Russell says that by making improvements in communication first, businesses will reap quick rewards by way of both staff and customer satisfaction in both productivity and efficiencies.

Just as important as the communication applications is the choice of technology. Russell mentions that technology has always been abundant in the legal sector, and with the many functions that are required of a law firm, especially midsize to large firms, the number of systems utilized is kept to a minimum, which can be difficult when so many types of management are required to run a firm (case and matter, CRM, document, etc.).

The article addresses how best-of-breed solutions give firms the greatest opportunity to “transform and differentiate” their business over jack-of-all-trades products. If you are not familiar with the difference in the two types of software, it breaks down this way: In jack-of-all-trades software, a vendor will offer all the solutions in one package, whereas best-of-breed software chooses to integrate with other applications that are relevant to your business operations. To fill in the picture, think of the business as an empty retail space. With jack-of-all-trades software, your space would be occupied by a big-box store that may provide a lot of products as a one-stop shop. The benefit is that this store will provide many items so the likelihood of finding the products you may need are high. The problem is that the products maybe generic and not of the highest quality. This style of software traditionally champions an all-in-one package, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you are getting substance as a consumer. Inversely, best-of-breed software would be a retail space mirroring a strip mall. Rather than attempting to do everything, best-of-breed attempts to do one or a few things extremely well, and then partners with companies that also do their specific brand of software well. By doing this, all the applications you need to run your business are integrated with your management software. You’ll get the optimal experience because the best software is being used for each job. Even some best-of-breed applications include other management software leaders in their software packages, like LawBase does with HotDocs, an industry leader in document management.

With best-of-breed software solutions, businesses experience growth, with steady and consistent footing to achieve objectives and goals. Usually best-of-breed is intuitive and user-friendly, where jack-of-all-trades possesses limitations because of the attempt to consolidate so many different types of software into one package. Russell states, “Document management best-of-breed solutions may be difficult to deploy on-premise for some firms, but they are immensely affordable. It’s worth noting that data migration doesn’t simply entail transferring files, but also moving the ‘contextual’ information around those documents (known as metadata), including associated emails, matters, contact details of various parties involved on the case, and financial information can be mined from the location of the documents, the naming conventions used, and the references that the existing systems make to those documents.”

Best-of-breed management software is more affordable than ever, so the time is now for midsize to large firms to capitalize on integrating this software, enhancing both client and employee satisfaction through tech solutions. Russell’s article echoes these sentiments, and with more and more firms adopting these solutions for their business, don’t you think it’s time for you to convert? Your business deserves the best (in-breed)!

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