Full Suite Monolith or Best-of-Breed Solution- Part 2: Cost


Choosing from a Full Suite Monolith or Best-of-Breed Solution can be a difficult discussion. Some brands are searching for an all in one solution while some other brands are searching for a more customizable solution. So which is going to […]

Choosing from a Full Suite Monolith or Best-of-Breed Solution can be a difficult discussion. Some brands are searching for an all in one solution while some other brands are searching for a more customizable solution. So which is going to be the ideal fit for you?

In this event of Taco’Bout Composable Commerce, Devon Hillard from Black Magic Consulting provides us the first consideration for choosing complete suite monolith or best-of-breed solution: Cost


Complete suite monolith or best-of-breed solution. This can be such a tricky one for brands to pick on, since on one hand, a few companies want something that’s fast and easy to prepare, so they would rather have one vendor supply everything just to learn that, that setup might be a bit too rigid for their own requirements. Now, on the flip side, we’ve got companies that need something that’s highly innovative and extremely customizable, like best-of-breed solutions. But that’s generally associated with more sophistication and can appear slightly more daunting to compose. So which one will be suitable for you? Well, today we’ve got Devon Hillard from Black Magic Consulting, and he is here to Taco’Bout It. The final thing that you mentioned, I think, is costs. So what are your thoughts on that ?

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Cost, of course, super important to any enterprise. It is a little tricky, I believe, with eCommerce solutions that we are talking about since you can vary from, you know, Shopify, which might be a excellent solution for certain businesses. And that is, you know, $59 per month. Up to big, monolithic eComm on prem installations, which may cost you $5Million to start with And so you’ve got this giant range only on the side.

And then, if you start taking a look at Composable possibilities, we’re discussing best-of-breed vendors. That might be a handful of relatively affordable SAS offerings, or it might be 25 or 30 disparate systems, some of which are rather pricey. Then you have the integration job of linking all that together, figuring out how you set up that adhesive in front end. So there might be, you know, kind of any selection of costs of upfront launching. I think generally, the Composable Commerce approach may have a higher up front cost than at least a few of the cheaper SAS established, like Shopify, etc., solutions.

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But the major issue to look at is not just what does it cost to start? What does it cost for going? But long term during the next five decades? Over the next 10 years, what does it cost to roll out new features to remain competitive in the trade landscape and to be nimble, enough to become really successful and kind of increase that company? And that is where I believe the best-of-breed approach, in which you are leveraging flexible solutions, you have an integration layer. That could really buy you plenty of efficiency. And that means it requires less development time to roll out new features, which means it costs less.

So your overall sort of overall cost of ownership for a Composable solution may well be much lower compared to a monolithic approach, even when the up front cost was reduced for that monolith. Just because the continuing development and maintenance of the platform might take a good deal more man hours, honestly. So it’s not a simple answer. There’s no easy answer that this is more economical and this is more expensive. However, it’s definitely something that each and every business should look at and figure out what they believe that sort TCO looks like and where they are going to make a wise investment for your future.


Yeah, I think you mentioned something which was so significant Devon, and it is I think a great deal of people get caught up with only considering the up front cost and you are right allowed for us to have the ability to keep up with our competitors and keeping up with our client expectations also. We probably will need to be immediately iterating and making changes and adapting to the new world, such as he’d said with COVID. So it is so important to not only think about your upfront costs but your overall cost. The cost of not only getting live, but remaining live.

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Absolutely. I believe that if you look at most companies, particularly ones who have sort of a bigger technical force in home, where they are doing that development or they are using a third party broadly your costs, you are loaded costs, particularly for your head count, and you are tooling to run the website to construct new features, to perform QA, to perform deployments, to do your observation; this isn’t an insignificant investment and can easily out shadow your cost to start on your up front form of licensing fees.

So I think it truly is important to check at the longer term and also to say, you know, hey, you know, if I’m gonna be pushing out 50 feature releases annually, you know, where do I save money or what is gonna cost me less or more? Depending on the efficacy of the system and the ease of rolling out new features and making adjustments. And I believe that is where Composable solutions and, frankly, more contemporary solutions where you have more of an API driven approach and you’ve got people who are, you know, the running , for example, and you may make important changes to the UI and UX, such as even sort of business flows without doing back end releaseswithout touching back end systems is a massive advantage there. From an agility standpoint, but that translates into a cost standpoint also.


So we have spoken about the 3 unique points that manufacturers need to take into account. With your extensive experience, tell us how Black Magic Consulting will help us move towards these distinguished experiences for the future.

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Certainly. So we I mean, like I mentioned previously, I have 22 years of expertise in the Enterprise eCommerce world. The rest of my group has comparable levels of expertise in marketing strategy, all sorts of elements to being a successful eCommerce business and direct practical experience at dozens of Fortune 1000 companies. And what that allows us to do is to come in with a customer and say, you know, look very carefully where they are, where they would like to go, what the competitive landscape looks like, what their strengths are, evaluate their electronic maturity and help determine what the best path forward resembles. And that might be to stay the course with the platform they are on, that may be to jump ship entirely to something new. It might be a slow transition, Implementing a headless approach. There’s lots of alternatives, and it truly is all about finding the ideal solution for the ideal business. And I believe that is something that our expertise actually gives us a leg up on offering the very best kind, of course forward for big businesses.


Surely well, Devon, thank you so much for walking us through your thought process of choosing between a complete package and best of breed. When you have any questions of whether you should be taking a different approach, and if you desire a consultation with Devon and please don’t hesitate to reach us out, we would be happy to assist you!

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