Let’s imagine a business case where, due to market pressure, you would need to shift your existing service or product offering into a completely new area of business. The most catastrophic situation would be an inflexible technical architecture that blocks the needed renewal completely. This could be due to the inability of the selected technology stack to offer or adapt to the required new capabilities.
One thing we also see a lot is that the needed changes might be possible in theory but – due to complexity of architecture or the technology – these changes are too expensive to implement within a reasonable timeframe. Obviously, this is not an ideal situation.
So how can you prepare for change? It’s important to understand that, while we can’t predict the future, we can make the architecture more resilient so that it better adjusts to change when it’s required.
These four criteria can help you to evaluate your current architecture decisions:
1️⃣ Omnichannel capability
Do your architecture and technology choices allow for adding new digital and physical sales channels without friction? Do they allow for providing a consistent and high-quality customer experience regardless of the channel, for example in sales and customer support processes?
Does your architecture allow combining the best components for the purpose, or are your hands tied with one monolithic solution and its capabilities? In case some smaller part of your solution becomes unsuitable for business (for example the business grows out of it), how viable is it to replace or expand with a reasonable effort?
3️⃣ Connection to underlying systems
How flexible is the current integration architecture? If the customer experience layer (such as digital sales channels) needs to rapidly change due to market pressure, does the current integration architecture allow such change to happen with a little effort – or do such changes always require massive development projects? How tightly coupled is the experience layer to core systems like ERP? Does that limit the development of customer experience?
Does your architecture allow you to easily connect with the digital services of your most important partners, for example, vendors, retailers, wholesalers, logistics partners, and service providers? How flexible is your architecture if new types of partners or partnership models need to be added in the future to complement your existing business model? Businesses can’t live in silos anymore, and the architecture must also support that from the ground up.
Are you interested in understanding the current state of your architecture and getting a full analysis of how future-proof it is – and how to identify the required changes?
Vincit provides a full range of architecture consultation services, from current-state architecture analysis to creating architecture development roadmaps, including retail software and more while helping you to lead the change towards a truly future-proof commerce architecture. A strong architectural vision combined with Vincit’s strategic and business design capabilities is the winning combination to build a truly successful digital business that surpasses the competition.
Please contact us if you have any questions or would like to hear more about Vincit’s architecture advisory services.