To start we must give some credit to our good friend Partiv Shah from eLaunchers for the ongoing use of this term until it was following us into our nightly dreams.
You see Frankensoft can be very scary. The term Frankensoft may have originated from the many multiples of integrations with Infusionsoft (now Keap) to maintain ones business flows, marketing strategy, marketing plan, lead and user flows and sales management environments. However, it is such a great term we kind of want to expand it's meaning further to mean all the many integrations between software that you use to maintain your TechDeck (another term we recently coined).
Many organizations are literally strung together with multiple pieces of software connected via custom integrations or third party apps such as Zapier , PieSync, and others. Our feelings on Frankensoft environments are mixed, so we have listed a few pro's and con's of this type of structure versus a more consolidated structure with say on 2 to 3 pieces of software comprising the entire user experience and back office environments.
- Quick to deploy - integrations are created to connect the various pieces of software using connectors and API's.
- Best of Breed - Allows for use of best of breed software for different components of your business and marketing infrastructure.
- Diversified Technology TechDeck - Not tied to any one company completely in the event of their demise or failure.
- Easy to break - as the technology world changes as it does pretty much daily the integrations to keep a Frankensoft environment running will have a greater frequency of breaking.
- Can be more expensive - when you add the whole of all the different softwares often they end up being more expensive than if you rolled them into less vendors such a 1, 2 or 3.
- Support can be hard to come by - you are generally a much smaller fish in each vendors pond so the priority of support may be less with some vendors than others particularly when one vendor starts pointing the issue to another vendor.
At this point, we really don't hold out an opinion on Frankensoft environments other than they are going to be more difficult to manage. However, often you are using the best-of-breed for each function so the improved functionality can very often outweigh the headaches of maintaining such a complicated environment.
Which is better for your organization you ask? We hate to say it, but it just really depends. The one thing that overshadows all of the above is process. What are your processes and possible needed automations. Customer, staff and user flows all play a part in what is going to work best for you and your organization. The only advice we give here is let the software determine the process as much as possible. Use it as it is designed, and try to stay away from customization requiring specialized coding to meet your needs. Frankensoft with customizations rarely work (for very long)!
So where do you go from here? Evaluate your TechDeck based on your overall marketing strategy, marketing plan, business plan, workflow and user flows and put together a map of what you business TechDeck architecture looks like. See if it can be improved, number of vendors/software reduced or eliminated, and if Frankensoft is working for your or not. If not get some help now. Bad software and processes will eventually kill your growth and efficiency.
Wa la that's it.