The Future with Digital Experiences

Today was our first day at the DX Summit that was put on by CMSWire, a company that has been reporting on CMS products and digital experiences for over 10 years. I have to say as a side note, Chicago is such a gorgeous city with architecture that reflects its rich history. The city has also put on unseasonably warm and beautiful weather for our visit. 

Much of the morning discussion was spent on the future of digital experiences, the Internet of things and how digital will be transformational.

Many of the speakers spoke about the future, innovation and the challenges that are ahead of companies and their staff. In terms of platforms, much of the discussion highlighted the explosion of software tools to allow customers to achieve their digital aspirations.

Some of the challenges that were highlighted included the integration issues with the onset of so many tools that do everything. There are a lot of points of data that don’t talk to each other. How do you control and manage that data? In terms of the product providers, the discussion continues about the open source vs closed source challenges and making the systems more interoperable, given there is not one platform that can do everything a customer needs.

Is this the real discussion, or is it about understanding the customer more intimately and matching the right products for the actual customer?

I would argue that historically customers have been given an over abundance of functionality that they don’t really use. Isn’t it a case of providing the 80% that makes their digital ecosystem work, while reducing the overhead of managing technology? We are now seeing open source providers (like Wordpress and Drupal) spawning locked in platforms like Acquia and Wordpress VIP where they take away the management and ongoing support of the software and managed devOPS.

Do solutions such as this really help though? Isn’t it just recreating the wheel (single instances) for each customer and the shared knowledge and know-how is lost to customizing each of the solutions for specific customers? Isn’t the future one where some customers accept that their needs for a digital world have already been solved and they want to be part of a community that continuously contributes to ongoing innovation and refinement of products as the market moves?

It is my belief that the future is a place where integrators/solution providers lay claim on customer territories or cohorts where they can deliver the complete solutions, build communities around their solutions, and allow these cohorts to focus on the internal challenges of going digital. 

More to come tomorrow - can’t wait!

Sam Saltis, in Chicago.

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