In an organization, having a collaboration stack could mean one of two things. Some companies prefer a single solution that offers their users multiple modes of collaboration, and others prefer to cultivate a collection of several independent and specialized tools to build out a custom solution.

While both methods are sensible ways of operating, it’s easy to compare the two and feel that the grass seems greener on the other side. On one hand, having one universal system for all the different ways you communicate seems too good to be true. And on the other hand, having to manage multiple tools all at once may be a reasonable price to pay for specialized user preferences.

Vendor Preference Statistic 42%

In a recent survey that we conducted with the Spiceworks IT community, we wanted to see exactly what IT decision-makers preferred in the workplace. We discovered that out of the 310 IT admins who participated, 44% preferred a single communications provider, 25% preferred multiple providers, and 31% had no preference.

The main reason that IT professionals look to multiple vendors is the need for compatibility with external parties such as customers and partners, while other IT professionals favor all-in-one solutions for the simplified management and user interface. Here’s a breakdown of the survey findings:

A Single Solution

  • Simple user interface
  • Enhanced end-user experience
  • More control for IT admin
  • Better reliability
  • Ease of management
  • Simplified support and troubleshooting
  • Easy to train end users
  • Simplified setup
  • Cost
  • Specialized features set

“We’d prefer it to be a unified system rather than a bunch of different ones of different companies we’d have to deal with.” – IT professionals, Spiceworks Survey

Multiple Solutions

  • Specialized feature set
  • Compatibility with outside vendors
  • Meet end-user preferences
  • Include free tools to improve cost-effectiveness
  • Time/learning curve
  • User confusion
  • Unknown/hidden costs
  • Troubleshooting
  • User-deployed/shadow IT
  • Difficult to manage
  • Unreliable

“I’d rather have four providers that do their thing very well than one provider who does four things with mediocrity.” – IT professionals, Spiceworks Survey

Both versions of collaboration stacks have their strengths, so it’s important to evaluate communication solutions based on your own organization’s requirements and resources. While managing multiple solutions might work for your organization right now, don’t let the seamlessness of an all-in-one solution scare you away. In general, unified communication platforms minimize distractions by smoothly combining chat, audio, video and web conferencing within one application, centralizing collaboration and minimizing barriers of connection.

Learn more about which type of collaboration stack fits best for your organization in our white paper Find Your Way Out of Conferencing Chaos.