Agility in Times of Digital Transformation
By Adrian Pang, SVP Product Management / November 10, 2022
Six Flights of Stairs
I live in an apartment building that is undergoing a 3-month upgrade to its 50-year old elevator. As such, I have to walk up 6 flights of stairs to my apartment every single day. Recently, I had the opportunity to see the “computer” managing the old elevator, and it is as you’d imagine it to be: a monolithic system taking up an entire wall in a room on the roof.
In conversations with the elevator vendors, we were told that the few elevator maintenance people left who could keep these types of elevators running are retiring and no longer available to make repairs.
The new elevators available nowadays no longer use monolithic systems, but instead use individual switchable parts, enabling a maintenance repair person to simply switch out parts based on capabilities. Each part is in itself is a separate working computer, but interoperating together with the obvious benefit of allowing best-of-breed selection of parts/components and lowering the cost of switching, and avoiding a long down time.
What do Elevators Have to do with Advertising?
The reason for the story? It reminded me of recent conversations with our partners on systems and applications, and the digital transformations they’re undergoing.
According to the IDC, businesses are going to spend $2.8 trillion in 2025 on digital transformation in customer experience, and core infrastructure.
As part of this digital transformation, companies are restructuring their organizations to face the new digital, post-Covid world, to enable better communication. But what about the restructuring of their technology to enable better communication between systems?
I’ve seen vendors try to pitch a “one-stop shop”, featuring a closed monolithic solution, with an “all-in-one” platform. This astounds me. In a world where data flows easily between platforms enabled through APIs, why create a solution that doesn’t allow a client to pick their choice in a best-of-breed solution, instead of waiting on a single vendor to solve all their needs?
Lead In Digital Transformation
So what should a leader who is focused on digital transformation within his or her organization do? Deploy API-first approaches to any internal technology buildout. Usability of your system’s APIs are just as important as the usability of your UI. When considering a system provider, don’t focus purely on the functionality of the software but on the ability to integrate their system into other platforms. And more importantly, consider the provider’s willingness to do the work to integrate, thus bringing you the best of all solutions.
Each organization will have its own challenges with the integration-first approach to their digital ecosystem. Some will have legacy systems in place, their stakeholders expect “the one UI”, their ability to support multiple vendors and organize them.
A digitally agile approach is a great starting point. That way, you don’t have to spend 3 months walking up the stairs.
At AffinityX, we take a client-first approach, and are agnostic to the entry-point solution for our partners. We work with your teams to integrate our systems with yours to streamline workflows and build operational efficiencies. We can also help identify the best-of-breed solutions to solve your business problems based on our 30 years of experience in the marketing and creative industry. Let our teams help you solve the challenges that keep you away from revenue generating activities.