The Point: Why This Article Matters
- Giving access. Digital teams must have access to unified data and content assets from various back-end systems and digital interactions with customers in a low-code environment to drive innovation and reduce project risk.
- Building new experiences. API-driven businesses and low-code implementation tools give individuals who don't consider themselves developers the ability to build new digital experiences for any channel, expanding the definition of a programmer.
Most digital commerce experts agree that delivering a new experience in front of customers is far too cumbersome today. Changing your stack to do this faster and easier is always a high-risk project that actually nobody wants to do willingly. The reason for this complexity is a huge lack of scalability and performance.
The Challenge of Updating the Customer Experience
This missing capability doesn’t just come in the form of delivery (performance on site), but more so from the not equally and not often talked about performance and scalability in terms of content production, generating and exposing experience data, activating data in PIMs, CMSs, ERPs, data tied to the back-end processes.
These data processes need to be scaled and unified as well, in order to create the experiences we as customers expect and deserve. Digital teams must create and activate more data — much more — to create relevance in every moment in our customer’s journey.
Related Article: Have You Recognized the Potential of the Composable Digital Experience Stack?
The Importance of Activating Data for Relevant Customer Experiences
To provide relevant experiences in all situations, more data must be activated for easy consumption by any front-end. This should include situational awareness data such as geography, mood, device, purchase pattern, gift, persona, etc., and should be updated instantaneously in each customer session based on the most relevant experience for that context.
Previously, some of these issues were addressed by feature-packed platforms in a race to provide everything a user could need or want. However, this resulted in the creation of monoliths, with users sadly only utilizing approximately 10% of the available features.
While it's undeniable that these platforms are rich in features (and are often chosen via political decisions), their implementation often results in complexity and poor performance after initial promises of streamlined scenarios and processes. This leads to the creation of workarounds that do not improve performance or efficiency, making everyone involved unhappy.
Due to performance issues and disappointing experiences like Black Friday crashes, the recent trend has been toward composable solutions. However, these often require heavy development and are difficult for digital teams to oversee or modify, making it challenging to update the customer experience during interactions.
Challenges you might recognize:
- Duct taping front-end experiences, more and more services, in the name of performance.
- Complexity in working and maintaining content/data.
- Asking IT for help every time a new experience is to be launched.
- IT's "full back log" stops innovation.
- Endlessly moving around data (Excel).
- Front-end and design teams wanting to focus on the experience not where to find the data.
Related Article: 8 Things to Know About Composable DXP
Empowering Digital Teams with Unified Data and Content Assets
As previously stated, MACH is an acronym for a technology that is Microservices-based, API-first, Cloud-native SaaS, and Headless. MACH supports a composable enterprise architecture in which every component is pluggable, scalable, replaceable and can be continually improved through agile development to meet evolving business requirements.
The next wave of MACH components must adopt a business-user-first approach, becoming more low-code to allow operation by business-focused digital teams. With a composable setup, MACH components will free up time and attention for back-end developers, while individual system providers can concentrate on making their data accessible through APIs. This will make it less tech-intensive and accessible to a wider range of organizations, beyond just those that are highly tech-savvy.
I truly believe that the next wave of innovation will come from individuals who do not consider themselves developers. With the right tools in the stack, almost everyone will be a programmer, but the definition of a programmer will expand to encompass a much wider range of activities. API-driven businesses enabling low-code implementations will empower junior developers and those who do not identify as developers at all, giving them superpowers.
Adopting Composable, Driving Innovation
Digital teams must have access and control over the unified data and content assets from CRM, PIM, DAM, ERP and other back-end systems, along with behavioral and contextual data from digital interactions with customers in a low-code environment. This data must be instantly available for digital teams to connect and combine as they wish to create new experiences, without requiring any coding skills, meaning they can build new digital experiences for any channel.
This will drive innovation and significantly reduce risk by making the scope of your digital projects more predictable, enabling you can to test and try new concepts without it costing a fortune.
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