Agility is a hot word in business today, with businesses competing on how quickly they can adapt to the ever-changing customer needs of their industry.
It’s tempting to think that all this talk of speed and flexibility has come to fruition thanks to the digital age, but agility has been a crowd favorite long before the age of the internet.
In fact, many people discovered the power of agility at a young age, through the power of Legos.
The best business solutions in the digital age incorporate some key elements of this 80-year-old agility powerhouse.
Plays Nice with Others
No two businesses have the exact same needs. Each one requires a unique ecosystem of solutions which packaged suites just can’t provide. Just as the classic Lego kit easily connects with the Harry Potter and Star Wars kits, your digital experience (DX) platform should run seamlessly with other best-of-breeds, such as CRM and customer intelligence solutions.
The easiest way to ensure interoperability is adopting a DX platform that is built on APIs. An open-source API system allows you to snap multiple solutions into one another as you would Lego bricks, easily and with no messy workarounds. Building an API-driven best-of-breed ecosystem allows you to pop solutions in and out of your system with the ease that keeps developers happy and the speed to please marketing managers, who can keep up with changing consumer demands quickly.
A business can bring in a whole multitude of solutions with the intention of pursuing agility, but the actual execution requires the adoption of these solutions by people. To bring a whole company on board, the solution needs to be intuitive for both IT and marketing teams.
Just as people of all skill levels can build a car out of Legos, a company-wide digital solution should not exclude anyone based on technical background.
In the digital experience space, an intuitive system encourages agility in two ways:
- Empowering business users with the ability to control digital channels allows them to produce relevant content as quickly as the needs of consumers change and
- With smaller content-driven tasks taken off their plate, the IT team has more time to innovate to solve important business needs.
Of course, with greater experience, comes greater ability to innovate within a system. A business user may work solely in the user interface, like creating a nice box car with four wheels, and a java specialist will be able to work on the systems level to create unique additions and an interoperability network, more like building one of the Mad Max Lego kits.
Easy to Experiment and Grow
Agility requires constant experimentation — and the ability to easily add and remove experimental pieces. Want to add a door to your Lego castle? Easy, just pop it in. Decide that door would actually be better on the other side? No problem, pop it out and try again.
Your DX platform should provide the same ease of innovation to create your digital environment, and just like Legos, allow you to scale your project without hassle.
One way that a solid DX solution does this is through the separation of content and the presentation layer, making the content available to any channel, or third party application, via REST APIs. Storing your content in separate “blocks” allows you to easily pull content across channels. You can create unique layouts for mobile, desktop, tablet and more with the confidence that your content blocks will stay consistent.
Additionally, storing content in this manner makes experimenting across user personas easy. Want to test if certain content resonates better in different countries? No problem, you can exchange content blocks based on location, keep what works, and quickly replace what doesn’t.
Another level of experimentation in a DX solution happens on the developer level. An open API system that supports continuous integration allows development teams to quickly create and adapt elements to the pipeline. This allows teams to continuously check that each new element blends with the overall architecture and prevents time-intensive incompatibility roadblocks.
The excitement and lasting power of all those little colorful bricks comes from the fact that you are only limited by your own creativity. Your DX platform should provide the same opportunity for innovation through open APIs, an intuitive design and an architecture that allows your business to experiment and grow with ease.
Title image Siobhan Fagan