I frequently tell clients that the future is fractured. They usually have no idea what I mean by that and I’m not really sure even I know what that means. But I still believe it to be true. The future is fractured.
How many clients have I consoled who are stuck with “complete” web solutions, paying one vender for all the basic web needs: site hosting, email hosting, design and aesthetics, content management, site architecture, and email marketing campaign. In almost all cases, the company in question serves only one of these functions with skill and the others are always in some nightmarish stage. Your site looks great but it functions like crap. It functions fine but it’s ugly as sin, or your email never works, or you have no rss, or you can’t add social media links.
One of the biggest changes in the web economy over the past five or six years is the specialization of services. More and more people are hosting a site on generic shared host, installing an open-source CMS, using Google for their email, and running email marketing on something like iContact or Feedburner. We can only expect this trend to continue as new multimedia services come online and existing open-source platforms are refined and specialised.
Indeed, we shouldn’t want it any other way. The beauty of specialization is that it becomes possible to use the best possible application for each function you need. The era of the “complete solution” is over. The future belongs to the consultant, who can pull all the pieces together to create “unique” solutions that fit your specific needs.