The Hydra Problem: Keep Control As You Scale

How can businesses control digital sprawl and unify organizational silos within an overarching digital experience strategy to mitigate risk?

hydra problem

Has your digital ecosystem gone rogue? It’s time to take back control. Previously, I discussed the pressure organizations face to do it all — engage with customers on more channels, push out greater volumes of content and make sense of the millions of customer data points they’re collecting each day. Now add in the very real matter of globalization and executing all of this at enterprise scale and it’s enough to make your head spin. 

Successful digital transformation is limitless, and today’s leading global enterprises are operating multiple brands, multiple regional initiatives and multiple teams all over the world. Unfortunately, this makes them more susceptible to risk than ever before: increasingly frequent security threats, protecting large quantities of critical customer data and new compliance and regulatory requirements that can turn entire industries inside out. 

Organizations must move faster than ever to keep up,ut this speed is not seamless. Marketing and IT teams move fast to meet their own deadlines, working with different objectives and systems that lack centralized visibility or consensus on a greater brand vision. These random IT and marketing activities result in inefficient spend and inconsistent customer experiences that often wind up confusing or frustrating your customers. Even worse, relying on ad hoc technologies can introduce massive compliance and privacy risks to your organization, potentially costing millions of dollars in fines and legal penalties. And, unfortunately, once you’ve resolved one pressing issue, two more suddenly spring up in its place. What results is a many-headed beast of complexity and technology. We call this the Hydra Problem

So how can businesses defeat the Hydra for good and unify organizational silos within an overarching digital experience strategy to mitigate this risk? 

Secure by Design, Architected for Adaptability 

With digital experience more in-demand than ever by customers, organizations are looking to invest heavily in marketing technology and customer data tools that help them accelerate their digital acceleration efforts. According to our recent Customer Experience Trends Report, 77% of global marketers anticipate their budget will increase next year. Yet this push for new tech comes hand in hand with increasing security risks and more stringent compliance standards. 

To keep customer trust, a strong security posture and compliance are non-negotiable for businesses. But even though digital leaders know they need it, security can also be a major bottleneck if it’s treated as an afterthought. Marketers need new solutions to bring digital experiences to life faster, but get slowed down by IT approval processes or difficult integrations. So, they go off course and look for quick-fix tools that can get them what they need without the oversight of the security teams. At best, this approach will result in a customer communication that is off brand, off message or contradictory to past experiences. At worst...well...sites going down, fines, legal fees, security breaches; all things your organization is trying desperately to avoid.

hydra gif

Instead of cutting IT out of the process, a central, open platform offers marketing and IT departments a shared digital framework. A digital platform that’s cloud-native and allows for open integrations with other tools gives CIOs full visibility into their digital stack while eliminating the need for rogue IT initiatives. Capabilities such as open APIs let local teams add tools that meet their needs while maintaining centralized management. Plus, as new compliance regulations or protections evolve, security teams feel confident they’re implementing these changes globally instead of leaving a piece of their business vulnerable to a future attack.  

Mutual Governance Without Multiple Headaches

A secure and solid foundation is just phase one in slaying the formidable Hydra that’s keeping your organization at odds with itself. With digital transformation initiatives in overdrive, businesses are scrambling to bring customers those always-on digital experiences they want. What if this challenge was multiplied across multiple business units and regional IT and marketing teams, each with hundreds of sites under their helm? No wonder Hercules needed god-like strength to combat such a relentless opponent. 

However, enterprises don’t need to view their size as a handicap to their ability to scale quickly. They just need a strategic blueprint for digital transformation and a few powerful tools in their arsenal that provide freedom and compliance. A digital platform with centralized site management and a common interface ensures that all updates are rolled out across each of your digital properties at once. Instead of having separate IT teams waste time adjusting the same few pixels over and over across all of your unique properties, tackle the entire initiative in a single powerful blow.

A multisite management tool takes a systematic approach to digital governance with master design templates and content components that anyone can access and re-use across all of their digital applications. However, that doesn’t mean all your sites will end up looking identical. An open digital platform gives teams the ability to choose which features they want to remove or add to meet the needs of each market, all from a common codebase. When paired with low-code site building tools and reusable components, the ability to design a consistent and memorable multi-brand ecosystem becomes easier than ever before. No more wasting extra technical resources or starting from scratch every time you need to add a new website. 

The unmatched scale and efficiency of this approach is valuable to digital leaders like Corey Caplette, Chief Technology Officer at Velir. “Acquia Site Factory and Site Studio allowed us to build and launch sites in days instead of months. By creating a ‘kit of parts’ in Site Studio, we empowered our client Lennar, LMC with the tools they need to deploy 50+ flexible, scalable websites fast, while ensuring each one maintains brand consistency, quality and oversight,” Corey said.  

Launching more sites, more securely, on a shorter timeline? Sounds like a hero’s victory to me.

Uncover how a Digital Experience Platform helps you beat digital experience silos for good in our e-book: Ultimate Guide to DXP: What You Need to Deliver Great Digital Experiences.

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