How COVID-19 has Changed the Definition of “Scale”

COVID-19 has accelerated digital transformation and "scale" has new meaning and importance. What is required to successfully scale digital operations?

As a leader of your company’s digital experience, how many times have you heard a potential vendor say, “Our solution is highly scalable,” or “We help the largest organizations scale their digital experiences?” What exactly does that mean for you? “Scale” has become a buzzword among software vendors. By default, it’s equated to volume (assets, page views, etc.). 

However, now that the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the speed and scope of digital transformation across every industry, the matter of “scale” has taken on a new meaning and importance. What is required today to successfully scale digital operations long term? 

  • Recognition that digital is the primary channel for engaging with customers. Organizations need to conduct most of their business online. This includes generating awareness all the way through to making a purchase. As a starting point, this requires an increase in capacity on their website or application which means more servers, more storage, an increase in support requests, etc. 
  • A new formula for building brand loyalty. Organizations need to make high value customers feel special and remain loyal on digital channels since they don’t have the chance to connect in-person. This means crafting a personalized and welcoming online customer experience that makes your audience feel as seen and cared for as they would when interacting with a trusted sales associate in a store or office. Getting this right is going to take time. However, we’ve already seen some brands embrace innovation. Some large B2B organizations are launching customer portals with exclusive content and access to special experiences. Other B2C organizations are deploying more targeted campaigns and increasing their content output to ensure they remain top of mind. For example, retailer Lids uses data on customers' purchase history, buying preferences and loyalty program status for advanced segmenting and targeting for email, paid digital and social campaigns.
  • New capabilities in your digital experience. Organizations need to consider the new expectations customers have when engaging on digital channels. Do they expect automated answers via chat if they are on your website? Do they now want to order samples of your product online since they can’t go into a showroom? Do they expect to see reviews across any digital screen where they learn about your company? Adapting to the new normal and adding capabilities is something brands need in order to “scale up” quickly.  Having the right solutions that allow for flexibility is critical.
  • Preparation for consolidation and liquidation. COVID-19 is putting some organizations out of business while creating opportunity for others. Growing companies may inherit a slew of new digital properties through mergers and acquisitions. Preparing for a change in their digital footprint and architecting for their future growth is critical for an organization's long term success. 
  • More stringent security and governance. With more team members contributing to digital experiences, brands face more security and governance concerns. For example, there are external agencies, new team members who aren’t familiar with digital marketing tools, and global team members who are now contributing more now than ever. If the right governance processes and tools aren’t put into place, companies expose themselves to serious risk.

Understanding how to scale digital operations while still maintaining that personalized connection with each customer is a top concern for many enterprises today.

"Putting together the dimensions around new capabilities and designing a new formula to build loyalty and security at scale is a critical mindset. It is both important and necessary that brands humanize interactions through empathy and personalisation to rebuild or strengthen customer relationships via digital experience," said Stefan Voss, Digital Sales and Solutions Lead, Cognizant, Acquia Partner. 

At Acquia, we have pioneered solutions to help organizations scale. Analysts and global 1,000 customers have recognized the value we provide. The Drupal Cloud scales to support volume increases and easily connects to new systems you want to deploy (Need a new commerce engine? No problem). That’s why the largest media events in the world like NBC Sports’s Olympics coverage and the Super Bowl run on Drupal Cloud.

While there are only a handful of premium cloud providers who can support a single website (digital experience) with a high volume of traffic, even fewer can govern, scale and operate a portfolio of websites.

Acquia Site Factory is a purpose-built solution for managing and enhancing a portfolio of sites and digital properties. This includes corporate websites, campaign sites, customer portals, and more. Over the past 12 months we have doubled down on Site Factory, making major enhancements to self-service capabilities, a new user interface, language specific admin, and ease-of-use for non-technical users to create and enhance existing sites. The intuitive nature of Site Factory helps organizations quickly adapt as they acquire new companies or add new digital capabilities to their existing sites. Coupled with the world-class security and permission structure that's inherent to Site Factory, it’s no surprise that organizations like Baxter, New York State and the University of Virginia are redefining "scale" with Site Factory.

Below is a 90 second demo loop of the capabilities of Site Factory and our new user interface.  

To find out more about how to scale your personalization efforts and take your digital experiences to the next level, register for Acquia and Cognizant's webinar: Crafting Engaging and Effective Customer Experiences at Scale

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