Acquia recently announced that EPAM Systems, Inc. was among the first group of partners earning the distinction of an Acquia Practice Certification (APC), which recognizes an organization’s mastery of the Acquia platform to deliver transformative results to customers. This achievement is “not a test that can be ‘crammed’ for, but rather the affirmation and recognition of EPAM’s years of experience building effective delivery teams who are thoroughly trained and well-versed in best practices,” said Seth Gregory, Director, Software Engineering, and Head of the Acquia and Drupal Practice at EPAM. “It relies entirely upon hard work that has already been done.”
We caught up with Seth to discuss the trends that are driving digital transformation today, as well as insights gleaned from the decade-plus that EPAM’s Acquia and Drupal practice has spent defining, adapting and perfecting its processes and approaches to digital transformation delivery.
Staying Innovative in Today’s Fast-Paced Digital Landscape
As we close out 2021, we asked Seth to share his perspective on some of the trends currently influencing or disrupting business. Of course, COVID-19 came up. “Cultural trends and COVID-19 have accelerated change and disruption across industries for customers and employees alike,” he said. “The pace of change has never been this dramatic.”
To keep up with this fast pace of change and help its customers stay ahead of the curve, EPAM fuses integrated consulting with engineering expertise in order to solve its clients’ most complex business challenges and drive transformational change. They often bring together consultants from various backgrounds – for example, from business, experience and technology consulting – to tackle a challenge. Bringing different skill sets together lets EPAM turn breakthrough ideas into tangible results at an unmatched pace. Seth explained their approach: “When we look to the future, we attempt to define an ideal state and then work backwards to find the best path to achieve that vision. We call this ‘backcasting.’ This approach allows us to create experiences that leap past the competition and see beyond the status quo.”
But before starting any engagement, Seth advised that it’s critical to assess a client's readiness and maturity. This includes the organization's customer-centricity, product development capability, any legacy technology platforms and their ability to integrate with new platforms, as well as the internal culture and ability to manage and adapt to change. Helping clients understand the changes they need to make to their business (people, processes and technologies) in preparation for digital transformation has been a key to EPAM’s success in actually delivering transformative digital experiences for clients in 2021.
Staying Ahead of Tomorrow’s Digital Transformation
Two trends are merging to drive the future for digital experiences. First, “the technologies we have been discussing for decades have finally matured. Machine learning (ML), artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), data science, 5G and cloud computing are driving rapid changes and shifting expectations for digital experiences,” Seth said.
Secondly, customers and employees overall are becoming more digitally demanding. “Digitally native Millennials have taken over the workforce and have spending power, with Gen Z right on their heels. Meanwhile, older generations are increasingly becoming more tech-savvy than ever.” Digital-savvy customers will continue to expect brands to deliver a consistent message, appearance and experience across all digital platforms.
And the accelerated pace of digital transformation we discussed earlier is not expected to slow any time soon. Seth noted, however, that the low-code/no-code site-building trend, championed by solutions like Acquia Site Studio, is gaining traction. This has the potential to help organizations improve their speed and workflow efficiency in meeting rising consumer expectations for digital experiences.
Looking ahead, Seth expressed EPAM’s excitement to continue building solutions on Acquia’s Open DXP to drive digital transformation for clients. “We plan to continue taking advantage of the rapidly evolving feature set to build true end-to-end solutions that leverage customer intelligence to deliver experiences that are as engaging to the user as they are flexible and effortless to manage for content editors.”
To learn about how EPAM and Acquia partnered to help Mars launch and scale their digital transformation at lightning speed, check out this case study of their Engage Award winning project.