Spend enough time online, or with a salesperson in the technology industry, and you’ll start hearing about the benefits of a particular ecosystem. But are they real?

Before we address the question, let’s make sure everyone is on the same page. When we talk about an ecosystem in this sense, we mean a family of branded products – from hardware designers like Apple to software providers like Salesforce – that are designed to work together. For an easy example, think about the way you can share photos from a Mac computer to an iPad or iPhone within seconds.

To hear salespeople and tech gurus talk about it, you would think that being in a certain ecosystem can save you a dozen hours each week while lowering costs and boosting productivity. But that brings us back to our original question: are those gains real, or just marketing hype?

Let’s look at a few things you have to know to find the answer…

Complete Ecosystems Do Have Their Benefits

Pairing certain types of apps and devices together can make it easier to work and collaborate. Some devices and software packages simply play together better than others.

If you are heavily dependent on a certain type of device, operating system, or specialized industry suite, then it may indeed make sense for you to build your IT strategy around a single brand. The same might also be true if you just like things to work the way they are supposed to without too many hassles or unnecessary integrations.

But Branded Gear and Apps Come at a Cost

As nice as it is to have everything work the way it’s supposed to, it’s worth noting that ultra compatibility can come at a steep cost. For example, Apple products can cost up to twice as much as competing devices. The bigger your company is, the more you could be shelling out to stay in one ecosystem.

There is also the “cost” that comes with managing your expectations and capabilities. Whenever you move into one ecosystem, you move out of another line of apps or devices. And, no matter how great the products you purchase are, they might not do everything you want them to. So, by committing to a single line of hardware or software you could be putting yourself in a position where it’s difficult to accomplish certain tasks.

The Best Solution Is to Design Your Own Ecosystem

When you put the first two points together, the best solution is clear: you need to build your own ecosystem – or at least choose the right one – based on your budget and business needs.

Unfortunately, most business owners don’t have the time or expertise needed to research the various ecosystems and solutions. That’s where we come in. With our virtual CIO packages, we can get to know your business, talk about your goals, and find a plan that makes sense. That way, you can get the tech you need without going over your budget or stepping into the wrong ecosystem.

Want IT Help That Goes Beyond Simple Repairs?

Small and medium-sized businesses love working with Fantastic IT because we go beyond simple tech repairs and solutions. In fact, we are one of the fastest-growing providers of managed services and IT consulting in the country.

To see how we combine five-star service with competitive rates, contact a member of our sales team today to schedule a free consultation!