Like most people from ‘The Business’, I used to think that technology was solved by ‘IT’ people.
The reality is, however, that we need not just to understand aspects of technology because they help us deliver a product to customers, but to a lot of customers the technology was the business.
The more I scratched, the more technology wasn’t someone else’s problem but very much something I needed to understand:
- The promotion has gone wrong: you spend millions on a campaign, only for the system to fall over when the moment you get customers signing up for it.
- Perception: customers expect dial tone availability if you aren’t available or worse, you are slow, the negative impression takes a lot to fix.
- Opportunity: are you ready for 20% month on month growth? And is your platform?
- Lead time: how long will it take to add capacity? Is that factored into your success plans?
- Profitability: we assume things get cheaper as we get economies of scale. Right? In the tech world, more can often mean more expensive.
- GDPR: 5% of global REVENUE fines if you get it wrong.
- Payments: schemes can cut you off (PCI) if you don’t meet standards, irrespective of a breach.
- Targeting: what happens when your key customer list, their turnover and contact details get to a competitor? Could this leak through a partner?
- Personal liability: Could you go to jail? The answer may surprise you.
- Cost: Retrofitting security is more expensive than getting it right in the first place – partner with people who care about security from the outset.
- Laziness or efficiency: APIs aren’t just for integrating with third parties – if you are doing lots of repetitive jobs, an API can help automate it away.
- Communications: good APIs have documentation and examples, taking the pressure off your development teams.
- Responsibility: good APIs means you know who to yell at when something goes wrong because there’s a transparent allocation of responsibility.
- Internal training: shorten the time for onboarding new staff since the documentation describes how the system should behave rather than them trying to guess, means you can scale up your business more efficiently.
- Quality: ever have a feature that was perfect one day, broken the next? Tested APIs help you maintain functionality between releases.
- Data Islands: You can see it but can’t use it: ever get frustrated that you can see segmentation in one system that you can’t use anywhere else?
- Data Desert: Correlating action to effect: ever wonder why a user was displayed a message? Has all the data leading up to that decision been lost?
- Data Midden: Is all the data there, just not organised, so you can’t make sense of it.
- Data Lake (and straw): Is all the data there, but you are unable to process it?
- Data Catacombs: Is all your data locked away and only available through arcane rituals to the dead?
The final reason – or should I say reasons – for getting involved in the understanding of technology is all about delivery. There are important decisions made every day in organisations around build or buy.
From both the operator and the supplier side, I’ve found that it is incredibly important to understand the details of the decision, rather than just a set of feature bullet points. Some things to consider include:
- time & scope (It’s enormous, check out what we have in stock for you – and remember, innovation never stops)
- money (know the real cost and time-to-market, and be sure that development doesn’t start all over again in the future)
- opportunity (Gamification is here to stay, that’s a fact. When are you ready to leverage enhanced engagement and customer retention?)
We’ve designed CompetitionLabs from the ground up to be one of the easiest to integrate platforms available with standard adapters and integration support available for some of the industry’s key players and flexible architecture for plugging in your own. Available in SaaS and on-premises models, CompetitionLabs also encapsulates best practice out of the box with version management, security and API first support as standard.