Adopting the right tech strategy for your company to go composable
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Pete Larsen, Contentstack VP of Technical Services, walks us through the various strategies an enterprise might consider to prepare for and transition to a composable architecture.
- Contentstack’s new Technical Services Organization
- Top strategic reasons for transitioning to a composable DXP architecture
- Adoption strategy example
- Benefits of going composable
- Myths about re-platforming
- How long does switching to a composable architecture take?
- How do customers gain access to Contentstack’s TSO services?
00:42 Contentstack’s new Technical Services Organization
Hands-on experience bringing value to prospects and partners.
We [Contentstack's TSO] came onboard in 2021. We bring agency knowledge with hands-on experience with our product. For about five years prior to joining content stack, we were operating with our sister company, in an agency capacity and a digital service capacity. We bring that field experience with what I consider best practices and our advisory experience to help our customers, our prospects evaluating our product, and even our partners implementing it. I tried to bring our knowledge to the table to help them succeed with their implementation projects.
01:53 Top strategic reasons for transitioning to a composable DXP architecture
The opportunity to define a strategic business goal and redefine business processes.
It's an opportunity to transform and streamline business processes, like segregation of duty, reviewing your software development lifecycle to streamline that process or reduce your development time. You can do direct empowerment of your content marketers. There's an opportunity to look at whether you want to operate from a centralized management standpoint or empower satellite capabilities if you're multi-branded. It's a chance to redefine your rules of engagement. It also gives you an opportunity to evaluate the core solution services, be able to review the costs and think about how you might be able to improve capability or performance. Going composable means that you get to pick the best-in-class services and work to integrate those. ... If you spend a little bit of time upfront planning and thinking about how you want to transform and document those, that information helps us identify the direction you're going. And we could bring experiences specific to your planning goals.
04:59 Adoption strategy example
A small proof-of-concept project helped a large telecommunications firm gain adoption company-wide.
I worked with a telecommunications company. They had a massive site on WordPress. It was over 5000 entries with lots of assets. It was stale and old. They were at a point where they knew they needed to make a change. We helped shape their strategy of doing a small discovery project—kind of a POC—where we focused on one of their main internal pain points. We took a microsite and put in a couple of key integrations. We worked together with them to help build that out. And then we were able to use this as a show-and-tell model internally to the company and get additional adoption and excitement around that with the other business teams.
08:48 Benefits of going composable
Free your teams from day-to-day management operations to focus on more strategic projects.
I spent 20 years in enterprise working specifically in software development. The construct of reducing reliance on your team for day-to-day management operations is, to me, the biggest piece of that. Having managed both the maintenance and support side, plus the new project side of things, having my resources directed towards more strategic projects was always the goal. But we always had to manage the maintenance lift in the back, and that usually impacted our ability to do future forward-thinking work. So I'd say that reliance on technical teams goes down. You're able to decrease your work intake process and focus and then point your resources towards strategic projects—more roadmap things. ... If you're managing support day-to-day operations, and you're doing a great job, you get that nice pat on the back. But if you're closing strategic projects successfully, you get a lot more visibility within the company and your career as a whole. I think that strategic projects are how you get ahead.
13:44 Myths about re-platforming
One big myth is that designing is easy. It can take time.
I've learned working with UI UX developers that, generally, people don't know what they want. They know they want to change after the first time they look at a design from a UI UX developer. They may say, 'That may not be exactly what I want, but at least now I can give some feedback.' Another iteration will get closer to their feedback. And it's usually not till the third iteration of UI UX design that they have an agreed upon design collaboratively against all their stakeholders that they can move forward with. You need to plan for that. I've seen design take as much as eight weeks—two months of work before the project can even begin.
15:25 How long does switching to a composable architecture take?
It varies, but 16 to 18 weeks is average.
For me, it's 16 to 18 weeks, including collaborative business user acceptance testing and a full round of QA. To me, that's about average. But I've seen projects go a little bit longer, depending on the complexities. I always talk through understanding what can be worked in parallel versus what has dependencies. Make sure you optimize your project plan around that, and it will enhance your time to market with your project.
17:10 How do customers gain access to Contentstack’s TSO services?
The TSO works with the customer success manager to determine the project's needs.
Once you've signed with Contentstack, a customer success manager is aligned to your account. We work directly behind that customer success manager. Depending on the needs, when we go through a kickoff at the start of our engagement, we're there to line out the specific services that are needed for that account. And so whether we immediately start with training and start to work together on understanding how the product works—which leads into additional sessions around architecture or migration—or integrations, we're all talking the same language. Generally, we'll start with our customer success manager, who is the point of contact with the client and will work right behind them to ensure that the customer is successful.