Mavenlink 2015 Predictions: Less Fragmentation, More Consolidation

Mavenlink CEO Ray Grainger contributed this article as part of a series on the topic of cloud and virtualization trends for 2015. You can read the original story on

Every year, new technologies emerge that promise to make our business more profitable, our workers more productive, or our processes faster than ever. This explosion of new apps fills the void and solves business problems, but over the long term can cripple businesses by adding complexity to business processes, and can also come with a high integration cost. 

iStock_000024621267Large-1Historically, what users prefer, and what I believe will continue to develop even more in 2015, is a move away from fragmented systems and applications that slow businesses down and cost too much to implement. We’ll see a move toward cohesive, consolidated systems that meet the majority of a business’s operational needs.

Why Fragmentation Doesn’t Work

Multiple Applications Lead to Inefficiencies

Adding a new technology system on top of many others forces employees to jump from one system to another throughout their work day, and often, those systems aren’t talking to each other so communication becomes siloed. Multiple, disparate applications lead to fragmented project knowledge, a problem that prevents true collaboration and problem solving.

Frequent Updates Cause Slowdowns

Businesses have to stay current to be relevant. Using different technologies means you will have to constantly make sure you are always running the most recent version, especially if you’re using an offline or on-premise application versus cloud-based software. Offline apps can require manual updating or hiring someone full time to manage your various system updates. The other concern is if you have chosen an application that cannot keep up with emerging technologies. If your system becomes outdated, you will likely need to consider moving to a new system altogether – meaning you will also need to account for time and money spent on training so your employees can properly adopt the new technology.

Why a Cohesive SaaS Solution Works

A One Stop Shop

A consolidated system solves the issue of siloed communication – or at the very least, prevents it from happening more than it already does. When you move all communication out of disparate channels and pull it into one environment, the project can move forward at a faster, more productive clip. In addition, a cohesive SaaS solution often includes various pieces of technology that help you get work done better, from incorporating financial accounting, timeline and schedule management, to other features. Depending on what you’re looking for and what you need, the right SaaS tool can help you handle multiple jobs in one place.

Grows As Your Business Grows

It is especially important to consider a solution that is flexible enough to grow with you as your business grows and evolves over time. Cloud-based SaaS solutions are perfect for that. Often, these platforms are multi-tenant, meaning all customers benefit from product upgrades, security updates, seamless scalability, and better service and support from the provider without having to manually update anything – and usually without having to pay additional fees on top of their subscription plan either. Other ways SaaS can grow with your business is that as new technologies develop, they can either become integrated with the SaaS solution, or if it offers an open API, you can hire a developer to build out custom integrations to support the needs of your business.