New technology is always exciting but the elephant in the room (i.e. the migration) can offset a bit of that excitement.
Often, we think about the new features, new campaigns, and new dashboards we’ll be able to pull with our exciting new platform but how to staff, how to train, and how to structure the team to support said platform is an afterthought.
The industry of on-premise solutions 15 years ago meant companies stayed with a platform of choice for eons (compared to the revolving door of vendor selections today). But today, we’re liberated from the shackles of such monogamy and exposed to the relative ease of SaaS. But the fundamentals of how to choose a certain platform are still there, albeit much quicker and more affordable.
The three-step graduation of platform selection
There is a consistent three-step graduation of platform selection across B2B companies.
#1 Quick and dirty freemium tool
#2 Basic features with some useful bells and whistles
#3 Fully-fledged, mature platform with supporting ecosystem
What to expect when you graduate through the stages
Depending on the speed of the industry and company growth, these three steps usually take five to seven years. Which means the team is changing platforms every two to three years.
The migration from #1 (quick and dirty freemium tool) to #2 (basic features with some useful bells and whistles) is pretty basic and doesn’t take much effort. However, the #2 to #3 (fully-fledged, mature platform with supporting ecosystem) migration is the more intensive transition.
The migration questions you need to ask
When going down this three-step migration path, there are some critical self-evaluations we need to ask:
- How can we set up our team and company to be platform agnostic so no matter our vendor selection, we can manage our own assets and report on our engagement information?
- If we change platforms again in two or three years, what will we lose?
- How much of us changing our platforms is from our team making the decision versus new senior leadership which has a loyalty to a specific brand?
What are the opportunity costs if we do not migrate?
If we’re not internally resourced to answer these questions with tangible outputs (e.g. asset repository, warehoused engagement data), then maybe we’re just chasing the latest shiny toy without taking the responsible steps first.
Wyatt Bales, Managing Director, BluprintX