Today’s organizations manage lots of information, content, and data.

The ability to access and leverage that information, content, and data at the right time, for the right audience has helped many organizations ramp up product development with a focus on user experience and 1:1 personalization. 

With such rapid evolution, more companies today are looking for ways to build a scalable tech stack that adapts to their growing business needs. But what does a scalable technology stack really mean, and how can artificial intelligence (AI) help?

Let’s dig in.

What is a Scalable Technology Stack?

Scalable technologies are apps, platforms, or programs that can grow and adapt with ease. They are designed for scalability and the flexibility they offer helps you future-proof your business. You might get hung up on which programming language to choose, which mobile app development framework to go with, or how to choose between Google Cloud or Amazon Web Service — all of which are important choices that your tech team is better suited to direct you on.

The thing is, a scalable tech stack means you don’t have to worry about it not fitting tomorrow’s business needs and making your current operating system obsolete. Your technology stack evolves along with your organization — especially if you embrace artificial intelligence (AI). 

Scalability is an essential feature in a tech stack today. If you’re processing information manually, you’re probably aware of the challenges that scalability poses. Ideally, you’ll want to leverage what you already have to make the most of your existing framework, tools, and prior investments.

What Does a Scalable Technology Stack Mean for You?

It means making sure your customers, partners and employees can find what they need, when they need it — even when a new software stack is introduced. With all of your technologies and the valuable information stored within them, how easy is it for those who engage with your brand to find what they need?

It’s critical to make relevant content available by implementing technology or tools that could surface the right content in the context of the person searching for it — and with their intent in mind. A relevant experience makes everyone happy. It improves the proficiency and job satisfaction of your employees and gives your partners what they need to sell more of your product or service. 

These tips will help you build a scalable tech stack that’s right for your business not just today but also tomorrow. 

What’s Considered the “Best Tech Stack” May Not Be the Right Stack for You

One of the biggest mistakes business owners make is jumping onto the latest-and-greatest tech the second it’s released. They see a new trend and want to act immediately. While there is some truth to this, and it is a good idea to move fast, you need to always consider the big picture. Spend some time to assess if it’s right technology stack for you.

Nothing inside a tech team is one-size-fits-all. If something changes, even something small, all teams are potentially affected. Changing a single feature could mean more stress on your data engineering team, while a design adjustment could lead to more customer support difficulties as the new interface is released.

A scalable technology stack should be user-friendly for all stakeholders. For instance, content marketers should be able to edit content on the website without creating a ticket to the web application development team. Before implementing new technologies, think about how this change will play out across team lines and how it will integrate with the rest of the technology stack.

Focus on What You Really Need

When considering the big picture, you should also focus on what your organization really needs. New tech is exciting.  Digital transformation mandates and the fear of being left in the digital dust of competitors might tempt you to start throwing your teams into new projects as soon as you discover it. Before you devote all this time, money, and energy into a new project, consider whether it’s something you really need.

While you should always be on the lookout for ways to increase your bottom line, reduce cost and/or increase productivity, realize that not all that glitters is gold. A good rule of thumb is to consider your audience:

  • Who is it that you’re considering this platform, application, or system for?
  • What are their needs and will your new addition help them attain their key goals?

If you can’t answer either of these questions, then maybe it’s best to put this idea on the backburner for another day.

It’s a good idea to keep horizontal scalability in mind as well. The best technology decisions are the ones that can have an impact across the organization, as opposed to just one department. This will help to increase employee and partner adoption, and create a seamless end-to-end customer experience.

Unify Your Data And Make It Available

When implementing a new technology stack, ensure your data is unified. Your customers have low tolerance for bugs and irrelevant encounters. When they can’t find what they’re looking on your web page or mobile application, your competitor is just a browser tab or finger tap away.

That’s why you need a system for monitoring your interactions (both internally and externally), responding to feedback, and proactively preventing problems before they occur. Using an application or log management software can help your organization with this. For best results, consider implementing AI and machine learning. Not only will your life become exceptionally easier, but you’ll also see better results faster.

People’s value to an organization cannot be questioned. But as humans, we simply can’t handle tracking and unifying interactions and optimizing rules to deliver 1:1 personalized experiences at scale like AI can — never mind putting prevented measures in place.

AI can automatically personalize from a million different interactions to a million different customers and it gets smarter with every use. It enables you to predict what your customer will need next and allows you to win at every stage of the customer journey. 

A Connected Technology Stack to Power AI

AI can’t do these things alone — it needs your help. You can guide your AI and ML models by connecting and unifying your data sources. After all, AI performance is only as good as your data.

Your technologies and their respective data should be talking to each other to tell you what’s really going on. Looking at subsets of data in isolation means that you’re making decisions on incomplete and potentially misinterpreted information. This can potentially lead to the demise of your organization.

Unifying your information into a single index creates unified interactions and ensures that the knowledge your customers, partners, and employees need is within reach.

Your customers’ interactions aren’t separate; they’re all part of a continuous information experience they have with your brand. As Coveo CTO and Co-Founder, Laurent Simoneau explains, “Your in-store visitors use mobile applications to order an item online if it’s out of stock. They check reviews of the item with the online community, and even pull up web pages to find out how to install the mobile app. Your website visitors peruse your online community for troubleshooting before calling your contact center.”

Unifying these interactions allows the data to follow your customers as they move between platforms and channels, delivering personalized content through every touchpoint with your brand.

Don’t Lose Sight of Your Employee Experience

If you keep the big picture in mind from the start, a scalable technology stack could help you deliver great customer experience and employee experience. If you’re looking to address scalability issues, you need to reduce the time to proficiency of the people who are committed to your company mission and you need to have the right tech stack in place to empower them. Listening to your employees is key — both in what they’re telling you and what they’re showing you.

Beyond the conversations you’re having, usage analytics help paint a bigger picture. Your internal data will tell you what they’re looking for, what they’re engaging with, and what they’re not finding-which will illuminate content gaps.

The autonomy that’s supported by connecting your employees to the best information and professionals within your organization, the moment help is needed, not only keeps things moving fast, it contributes to their overall satisfaction and development. More proficient employees can have a direct impact on your bottom line, but you need to have the right technology in place.

Futureproof Your Tech Stack with AI

For your organization to survive in the digital age, you need to invest in scalable technology today.

While you may not know what tomorrow holds, with AI technologies and analytics, you can keep a pulse on what your customers want and need. You can stay ahead of the trend and make the best, most informed business decisions using all the data that you have.

Having an insight engine in place that supports innovation and collaboration will allow your organization to deliver relevant experiences at every touch point, making it truly as future-proof as possible.

Learn more about the top insight enginesReport: Gartner Magic Quadrant for Insight Engines
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About Ashley Lipman

Ashely is a super-connector who helps businesses find their audience, partnerships, and helps small business with their networking efforts online. She frequently writes about the latest advancements in e-commerce and marketing.

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