The digitalization of customer experience has put high pressure on CTOs and their organizations and demands from the business are at an all-time high. This, combined with the talent shortage makes it impossible to deliver on the growing expectations.
But there is a way to unburden the tech organization by empowering the digital business teams to be more autonomous in their mission to modernize and digitalize the customer experience, without the CTO losing control, and it’s called; an Experience Data Platform.
When Tech leaders empower their digital teams with an Experience Data Platform, they also unburden their own backlog. - Jimmy Ekbäck
First, what is an Experience Data Platform?
An Experience Data Platform is an emerging type of software that enables digital teams to build digital experiences much faster.
Using this type of software, data can be unified from different systems (e.g., customer data from CRM, product data from PIM, transactional data from ERP, shipping data from WMS) and accessed instantly without spending months on data integration.
With all data in one place, anyone without any coding skills can easily pick and choose desired assets and combined them into a purpose-built API that is instantly available for a frontend developer to quickly build a new digital experience. All data also becomes available in a real-time state so the experience can be scaled globally friction-free.
As you can imagine, this has many benefits, several of them serving the tech organization in genuinely nice ways.
Benefits for Tech leaders using an Experience Data Platform
As a CTO/CIO/Tech Leader you want to ensure that core business processes and systems are protected and that there is cohesiveness in the company’s tech strategy. It isn’t strange to feel that if too much decision power is moved to the different departments, things could easily get out of hand, and you will be in charge of cleaning up the mess.
Using an Experience Data Platform that simply persist the data from your core backend systems (ERP, PIM, CRM, etc), makes it possible to combine into new virtual data structures and makes it available for the digital team to build experiences without the support from you and your team. You get the best of two worlds. You don’t need to overload each backend system by putting data there that it is not intended for, and you don’t need to add another integration that is under constant threat to break for your digital team to access the data they need.
Stop spending lots of time and money building and maintaining integrations for customer experience applications
Unifying your experience data into one place means you no longer need to move data between databases/systems and data models that aren’t built to fit together.
You can stop getting questions from the business about building the same integrations over and over again and just shuffle data back and forth between different systems. A task that risks to dilute your data takes a lot of time, and needs long-term maintenance. This is time and effort that your team can use to work on other initiatives instead of just implementing similar integrations repeatedly.
The digital team wants to execute their ideas and your inbox is flooded and the backlog is just growing. It is impossible for you to prioritize everything at once and you simply need to say no or that they need to wait 6-12-18 months.
This does unfortunately cause a lot of internal friction. By making the data available for the business team, so they can run more autonomously, you will unlock a lot of friction points and will enable them to execute their mission without putting too much pressure on your tech team. It’s a win-win and a lot more happy faces!
In Sweden alone, it is predicted that by 2024, 25 000 developers are missing in the market. The hiring game is a game you simply cannot win, and you need to do something/invest differently to overcome the talent shortage in the market.
Jacob Rastad is CTO at hypergrowth e-tailer Nordic Nest; he says that by using an Experience Data Platform from Occtoo he has managed to overcome the challenge of lack of developers (because fewer integrations are needed) and has been able to prioritize initiatives that otherwise never would have seen daylight. Suddenly, you can tick things off from your backlog at a much faster pace without the need to hire more developers.
To be able to work opportunistically with innovation and digital experimentation, access to data is crucial. Data is the fuel for executing new innovations, and if your business teams don’t have access to it, the company simply cannot test and try new things.
By using an Experience Data Platform, the time to market for these new MVPs, prototypes, or whatever you want to call them, is much faster, hence also much more cost-effective. This means that your company suddenly can experiment at a much higher pace, not only because you can do more with less, but also because it comes with much less risk.
When asked about what the main priorities are for tech leaders today, many say that they are tasked with making the organization more agile and adaptable to change. By using an Experience Data Platform your business teams can quickly go from idea to deployment.
Whenever the world throws you a punch from the left or right, they will have the means to act quickly and deploy whatever digital solution or service that is necessary to survive in the new business landscape, dictated by the change in the market. This will truly future-proof your company and is a safe bet to reach a new level of agility and adaptability. How nice would it be to check off that box in the next board meeting?
Jimmy Ekbäck is co-founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at Occtoo. Jimmy’s combined passion for new technology and frustration over legacy technology holding CX professionals back from launching innovative ideas is what brought the seed of Occtoo to life. Prior to founding Occtoo, Jimmy has founded and acted as CTO at inRiver, a globally recognized Product Information Management System.
Also published here.