Building a digital experience foundation to last, fast

  • Posted on May 28, 2021
  • Estimated reading time 4 minutes
How To Build Personalized Digital Experiences

This article was originally written by Avanade alum Timur Asar.

Just like a skyscraper needs a solid foundation before it can be built high, your digital experiences need to start from the strongest possible platform.

Your digital experience platform could make or break the engagements you have with customers and your overall success in a competitive and fast-paced market.

Recently, we discussed how the events of the past 12 months have put increasing strain on content management and digital experience delivery. Customer expectations have changed, and businesses have been forced to accelerate or kick-start digital transformations.

To spin-up digital capabilities in the wake of the pandemic, some businesses have ended up with unwieldly combinations of platforms and “solutions.” They have spent valuable time working to implement and integrate them with existing systems, only to find that they’ve lost efficiency rather than gained it.

It could really pay to simplify how you do things, especially when it comes to your digital experience foundation. Here’s why – and how.

Start with the right architecture
When we think about a digital foundation, it’s helpful to think in architectural terms. Buildings are planned thoroughly, long before the ground is broken. Architects and planners work with communities and governments to ensure the building:

  • Complements the existing environment
  • Serves its intended purpose
  • Is energy- and cost-efficient
  • Enhances the experience of people living around it

In the same way, businesses on their digital transformation journey should ensure their digital foundation:

  • Complements the existing digital ecosystem
  • Serves its intended purpose
  • Is energy- and cost-efficient
  • Enhances the experience of customers and employees

However, digital transformation happens on a much tighter timescale than architectural work. It’s all too often a matter of implementing one platform now for a specific purpose, then attempting to bolt on another as time goes by. This is inefficient – almost like building a house, extension by extension, without a foundation. A building like this is liable to collapse.

IT and marketing teams often spend too much time sourcing, buying, designing and implementing technology from multiple vendors. In the end, this means they can’t be as agile as they need to be to meet customers’ high expectations for quick digital experience delivery.

Not only could this lead to instability at a large scale, but it could also lead to the emergence of data siloes that can further impede marketers from delivering engaging experiences.

“Custom-built” vs “Prefab”
If we continue with the building analogy, sometimes it’s quicker and more sensible to prefabricate a structure in order to have it functional sooner. The same idea can easily be applied to digital experience delivery.

But the term “prefab” has a somewhat negative connotation, associated with cheapness and conformity. People generally prefer the terms “bespoke” and “custom-built.” However, we must remember that “bespoke” is not right for every situation. In fact, building around existing systems can often slow progress and prove a frustrating experience.

There is an alternative way of going about this – taking an accelerated, modular approach to your digital experience foundation that benefits from ‘prefabricated’ personalization capabilities. It’s a faster way to value realization that allows for speed, without compromising structural integrity. Just as in architecture, a good use of prefabricated material shouldn’t feel prefabricated in the end. Customers don’t want a one-size-fits-all experience, just as no one dreams of living in a ‘copy-pasted’ home.

Prefabricated components are there to get you up and running fast, eliminating the inefficiencies and guesswork of building from scratch. It’s what you then do with this structure that really matters to the user.

Accelerate your transformation without sacrificing stability
The cloud-based Adobe Experience Manager is a comprehensive content management solution for building websites, mobile apps, and forms. Experience Manager makes it easy to build, manage and deploy commercial websites and digital marketing content and assets.

Experience Manager is an incredibly flexible platform. In fact, the average Experience Manager deployment has more than 250 customized components. While this can result in a powerful tailored solution, you might instead consider taking a more modular approach, powered by Avanade’s Digital Experience Foundation (DXF) accelerator.

Whether you’re just starting your digital transformation journey or ready to advance to the next level, the accelerator can help you progress quickly. DXF can help you fully implement the cloud-based Adobe Experience Manager faster than your competitors. And today, that is a real differentiator.

Your customers will never even be able to tell that you started from a prefabricated foundation, either. In-built personalization and analytics figures will help you to efficiently tailor the experience for each visitor, while editable templates give you the power to design the experience your way.

As businesses struggle to stand out, it is those moving fast and delivering personalized digital experiences that are winning market share. Ultimately, DXF gives businesses the tools they need to really accelerate the journey.

Do you agree? Would going “prefab” help your business act and build faster? I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

About the Avanade + Adobe partnership advantage
Are you ready to embrace the rising tide of CX? Avanade is the how and now of digital marketing effectiveness. Personalisation at scale. CX that glides. Smarter data. Avanade knows how. And with Adobe, we can help you deliver instant impact and long-term value – fast. Discover avanade.com/adobe.

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