Enterprise eCommerce is suffering from an identity crisis in many organizations when it comes to deciding who owns eCommerce. It’s another great marketing tool to promote and sell products to customers and a significant piece of infrastructure that requires a lot of maintenance and support. When you switch to the mindset that eCommerce is essential infrastructure, every employee in every department becomes accountable for their supply chain touch points.
As Helen Keller once said: “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” The strongest case for expanding your thinking about eCommerce beyond departmental, is the parts of the eCommerce infrastructure and supply chain that touch most, if not all, departments within an organization. With the level of collaboration required by department heads of Marketing, Sales, and IT, it stands to reason that individuals throughout the organization should be strategizing around the shared goals of eCommerce rather than working in silos.
IT teams were once considered a wholly departmental unit. As businesses digitize processes across all departments, today's enterprise businesses have come to see IT teams as critical to overall operations. This has led to collaborative approaches like DevOps. Similar thinking should be applied to eCommerce to become a more agile business unit that can easily scale with changing economic conditions like those caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s not to say that IT should have full ownership without influence from other departments.
At Allata, we pride ourselves on the motto, “Better business through better technology.” In a time when COVID-19 is forcing businesses, large and small, to adapt or potentially fail, it’s never been more important for enterprise businesses to embody the ideals behind that phrase.
Because eCommerce is central to business operations, it requires a large degree of technology, innovation, and forward-thinking to be successful. At the same time, user design, digital marketing, consumer analytics, etc. are equally important. This is where IT and Marketing operations intersect. Adopting an approach where the two create an effective ‘DevOps’ collaboration ultimately leads to a better outcome for the organization. By aligning IT and Marketing operations with a shared goal, teams work better to ensure customer needs are met.
To ensure organization success, there are some basic tenets of eCommerce centralization that could help create alignment:
- Customer Focus – Look at things from the perspective of the customers. How can we make it easier for them to do business with us?
- Enterprise Success - Decisions need to be made based on what will help the organization achieve its overall business goals & objectives not the siloed goals of individual teams'.
- Communication – Develop clear and accessible avenues for communication across the organization. Make sure productive (good and bad) conversations happen early and often.
- Collaboration – Each team has their area of expertise and should be taken into consideration when making decisions. Marketing may have some great ideas to attract new customers, but it may not be scalable based on the current infrastructure.
- Agility – An organization must be efficient and agile enough to innovate quickly as trends change.
Unfortunately, there is no silver bullet since every organization is slightly different. However, we know that businesses require effective communication, collaboration, and synergy between Sales, Marketing, and IT leaders responsible for maintaining the platforms that power eCommerce. Those are just the primary stakeholders; customer service and operations need to weigh in from time to time as well. Because all of these things are connected to the company’s goals and vision for long-term success, it makes sense that these groups should work together to pursue a singular vision. Whether that’s a dedicated collective team with stakeholders from each organization or putting the right team guidelines in place to promote partnership and drive towards the tenets described above.
Allata understands that eCommerce isn’t just a piece of your business. It’s the core of the sales organization that powers your enterprise journey. That’s why the professionals at Allata are standing by to work with you on the next piece of enterprise software that will further evolve your digital transformation, helping you stay in front of the competition. Reach out to us today to learn how Allata can help you.