With the pandemic turning the way we work 360 degrees, remote work and hybrid work models are becoming the norm and are expected to rise by a whopping 300%, according to research by Forrester . Moreover, online customer service interactions are to increase by 40% . In order to support both of these, organizations need to invest in their tech stack as well as digital transformation.
Tech stacks are key for the success of your business, which is why evaluating your tech stack before investing in new solutions is crucial. With so many customer engagement, business intelligence and marketing automation tools available on the market, it is understandable to get overwhelmed quickly and lose sight of what would be the right fit for your company on a day-to-day basis.
So, if you’re looking for ways on how to evaluate your tech stack and what are the rules you must follow in order to get things done in the right way, you’ve come to the right place.
What is a tech stack?
Today, the term “tech stack” is a catchphrase for a set of tools and software used by a company for creating and delivering value to its customers.
So, a tech stack is essentially a combination of technologies an organization uses to build as well as run a project or an application.
A tech stack is also, at times, known as a solutions stack. It mainly consists of a database, programming languages, frameworks, back-end tools, front-end tools and apps connected through APIs (Application Programming Interface).
A tech stack used by your organization won’t just be used by your tech team. It will be touching every part of your business and its administration. Hence, the responsibility of choosing and managing technology doesn’t is not just of your IT team.
Hence, it is important to evaluate your tech stack properly before putting your money into it.
Here are 3 ways to evaluate your tech stack
1. Back to the basics
In order to help your team stay aligned to their goals and maintain proper flow of work and communication, you need to get the basic tools right. For file sharing and efficient collaboration, Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive, Box and Amazon Drive are a few options.
Slack is another great online team communication tool that helps team members organize conversations, as more people commence remote work.
SendInBlue, Constant Contact and Mailchimp are some of the best email automation tools out there. For keeping a track of billing and expenses, accounting software by QuickBooks or FreshBooks can be used.
2. Know your customer and the customer journey
You’ve heard this before, but we’ll say it again – Know your customer. You’ve recognized a need and created a product that served that need. Great. But do you know how they shop, what relevant information they’re looking for and what are the problems they face while purchasing a product like yours?
If the answer is no, we suggest you collect information about your customer and their buying process as much as possible. You’ll only be able to create an in-depth alignment among your technology, data as well as individual processes if you have a clear understanding of the sum of experiences your customers go through while interacting with your brand.
Also, ensure that the technology you deploy does not create any barriers or gaps in delivering value to your customers.
3. Have a bulletproof, flexible growth plan
Undoubtedly, technology can help your organization with on-boarding and tracking. It also helps you in generating insights. But of course, these software and tools are expensive. However, visionary leaders like you do not usually trip over a dollar in order to save a penny.
Budget is a big factor while evaluating your tech stack, but if you come across tools that can help your business scale, don’t mind the price on the price tag.
Look for software that’ll help you stand out from your competitors and shed a light on your product. Take the long-term view into consideration while investing in technology.
Now, let us look at some rules you should keep in mind while evaluating your technology stack.
3 rules to keep in mind when evaluating your tech stack
1. Make sure you really need that software in your tech stack
With the world’s increasing dependency on technology, a lot of robust, efficient software are being created and launched almost everyday. But with so many amazing options available, it is easy to get carried away and dump money in some tools that your organization can survive without.
So, don’t include just any software in your tech stack just because it is exciting or it will solve a minor problem your team is facing. Conduct extensive research and take demos shamelessly before making a decision.
See for yourself if the tool really improves your organization’s efficiency significantly and is it measurable. Does the tool have an intuitive interface and can it be integrated with your existing technology and current systems? How much would you have to invest in the software before you see a tangible ROI?
Ask these questions (and more) to yourself, to your decision making team and the vendor before giving away a part of your budget.
2. Conduct a rigorous cost analysis
Make sure you conduct an in-depth cost analysis of the tool you want to add to your tech stack. Keep in mind the needs of the team it will be used by, along with the overall goals of the organization.
Measure how much time, and at what rate, your team members spend to present to accomplish that task. Then, compare it to the cost as well as the potential payoff of process automation.
3. Don’t commit to a software so easily
It is truly said that any product is only as good as the time invested in it. However, it doesn’t mean committing to the tool blindly. It means putting the necessary effort to comprehend how it can be used to meet your organization’s needs.
So, take all the time you need to carefully analyze how you can make the most of the tool in question. Don’t ignore any feature available in the software. Make sure you’re well versed with the dashboard of the software you’re trying out.
Making the final decision of buying a tool for your tech stack is not a decision you can take alone. Include everyone who’ll be using the software, be it every day or rarely.
Whether you are deciding what technology to invest or re-considering your old tech decisions to drive more value to your company, there is surely a lot to consider. So, take your time to evaluate your tech stack, do your research and keep measuring the Return On Investment provided by each tool and software in your tech stack.
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 Leaver, S. (2020) Forrester “Predictions 2021: Technology And Customer Obsession Help Firms Emerge From Crisis Mode” [Online] Available from: https://go.forrester.com/blogs/business-trends-2021/ [Accessed August 2021]
 Jacobs, I. (2020) Forrester “Predictions 2021: It’s All About Empathy, Digital, And Virtualizing Customer Care” [Online] Available from: https://go.forrester.com/blogs/customer-service-predictions-2021/ [Accessed August 2021]