5 reasons why your digital experiences platform must be agile and flexibleMorten Eriksen on
Don’t lag behind with legacy or suboptimal systems and get the definite rundown on why you should upgrade your DXP.
A digital experience platform (DXP) is a software for consistently managing, delivering, and optimising experiences across every digital touchpoint of your customer journey. A CMS is the engine behind your digital experiences, and a DXP is a concept denoting the wider usage of a CMS for consistency across several digital channels.
In a world of increasingly fragmented digital touchpoints—from the good old website to apps, APIs, wearables, and IoT—it might seem perfectly reasonable to you that the platform behind it all should be agile and flexible to meet today’s and tomorrow’s challenges. But how do you go along and present this view logically?
Here are five reasons why your DXP must be agile and flexible, and how Enonic might be the preferred solution.
See how Enonic fits your current architecture and skill set:
Agile: Building solutions faster
Time to market is as important as ever, especially today when bedroom startups compete with established enterprises on (almost) equal terms. This is due to the internet and technologies enabling an increasingly larger scope of features and services to be rendered in smarter, cheaper, and more effective ways than before. Just think about the startups Uber and Airnbnb versus the taxi and hotel industries, respectively.
So, being able to quickly adapt to shifting market needs and trends is tremendously important, for big and small, old and new, established and up-and-coming. In order to adapt and empower your co-workers to make magic, your organisation should make use of a platform that is easy to get acquainted with for both editors and developers. And such a digital experience platform should include modern technologies to enable speedy development and iterations.
Flexible: Covering a range of needs
An organisation often has several tasks to solve in their digital offerings. In the past, most organisations used web and digital experiences to showcase a product—and the website essentially functioned as an online brochure. Today, the needs and tasks are far more sophisticated.
Presently, organisations use their DXPs for tasks like customer retention, marketing, self service, and brand protection. To deliver these functions, you usually need several different types of components. Make sure that your chosen DXP is flexible and includes the features, or can be easily integrated with services offering them.
Further, a DXP should support both content and site editing. A DXP without customisation options for the people working in it every day—the content editors—is a poor DXP indeed. An editor friendly DXP should also be able to let you model complex content types for any need, like testimonials, person profiles, services, and interest rates, in addition to the more familiar ones like blog posts, images, and landing pages.
Enonic XP covers a broad range of needs by the grace of it being a web platform and CMS in one solution. For a developer in XP it's just as natural to build a web application as it is to build a CMS driven website. There is more functionality in the platform than your average CMS, including the mentioned search, NoSQL, and authentication framework.
Read also: 7 signs Enonic is powering a website »
Agile: Continuous deployment
An essential part of being agile is to move and turn gracefully, adapting to changing circumstances like a cheetah on the prowl. In the digital realm this translates into: release often and make small steps, instead of undertaking large projects with complex and time consuming deployments. Avoid long term, large projects which take months and months to test, and that delivers services slowly and perhaps too late to cater to customer needs. Focus on building systems for automatising deployment.
The well-known principle of agile tells you to prioritise functionality over something flashy and overly complex. It’s useful to remind yourself of the four agile values:
- Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
- Working software over comprehensive documentation
- Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
- Responding to change over following a plan
The agility of Enonic is demonstrated through, among other things, the use of APIs for deploying applications for exporting and importing data. APIs can help any project of yours to be deployed continuously, and they work together with automation tools like Jenkins.
Flexible: Empowering the content editor
Most content editors like to work seamlessly and to feel empowered by the DXP—they like the flexibility of tuning small features on a given site or app to suit a purpose, all while retaining brand compliance. When content editors meet a wall of restrictions and need to contact developers to solve even seemingly simple tasks, they become annoyed.
A great DXP features an interface to configure the solution within a secure, but still flexible framework, without the need to be technical or have an extensive knowledge of programming. There’s no good reason to involve developers for everything all the time in a DXP.
Make sure that your chosen DXP Includes flexible content architecture, landing page editors, and ready-made integrations—like Enonic XP. In XP, editors can also configuring parts, reuse fragments, download apps from Enonic Market, and use flexible content types—e.g. recipes, products, blogs, and persons, etc.
Agile: Fully managed cloud
Smooth deployment and operations are as much a part of agile web development today as frameworks for building solutions faster and agile principles. And one of the current methods for achieving such a desired state is through an experience cloud.
An experience cloud is a fully managed cloud platform to run digital experiences. In an experience cloud content management and platform services are offered in one package, allowing you to create, scale, and deliver content and digital experiences to any channel.
Such a cloud solution frees your time and resources, letting you focus on core business and to build great applications instead of being bogged down in operations. A fully managed cloud solution lets security, scaling, back-ups, and upgrades be handled by experts, who can bolster your team with more knowledge of the given solution than your inhouse DevOps.
Enonic offers its own Experience Cloud to ensure agile success to our customers. We label it "Experience as a Service," or "XaaS," to denote a content hub and platform services in one. The former includes headless CMS and hybrid CMS, while the latter includes data storage, runtime, and developer tools.
Your DXP needs to be flexible and agile in order for your organisation to stay relevant and in business not just today and tomorrow, but also in the coming decades. You might prefer a Formula 1 race car from the 1970s in terms of classic design, powerful engine sounds, and general awesomeness, but the venerable vehicle just won’t compete with today’s faster and more agile F1s.
Enonic XP is precisely a modern Formula 1 race car in the world of digital experiences. It will get you results fast, it will be easy to maintain, and it will ensure you success in the foreseeable future.
This post was first published on 6 May 2019, but was modified and updated on 2 January 2020.