There’s no rest for the weary if you're a digital marketer in 2014. As the pace of technological change accelerates, it’s all one can do to keep up. Take replatforming, that Herculean effort of moving from one website solution to another, whether an upgrade or moving to a different vendor’s solution.
As technology’s pace quickens the cycle of replatforming gets shorter and shorter. Where once a 5-year cycle would be deemed leading edge, today it puts you smack in the middle of the laggard quadrant of the adoption lifecycle. In fact, a strong argument could be made that replatforming should be treated as an ongoing program, not a one-time project.
How Far Ahead Are You Thinking?
Forrester Research has made this point on numerous occasions: because digital marketing is constantly evolving, you need to continuously evolve your digital touch points. While implementing new technology on a continuous basis is not yet feasible, organizations can and should put themselves in the mindset of continuous evolution. So while your last web platform upgrade was less than three years ago, it’s already past time to be thinking about the next. In our experience this is where many online business leaders miss the mark -- that is, they don’t start planning until the pain points start to appear.
Whether it’s a total cost of ownership model that’s no longer competitive, an inability to meet customer needs rapidly enough, or a platform that can no longer handle the customer demand without the proverbial duct tape and workarounds, there’s going to come a time when your legacy solution needs an upgrade, so thinking well in advance of that time needs to be your goal.
How to Get Back on Track
The best place to start is with your analytics and optimization results: what are they telling you about your site, about your customers’ use of your site, etc. Before spending lots of time and money -- neither of which any of us has enough of anyway -- on future plans, it’s an imperative to understand what’s working (or not) in your current site’s customer experience.