Ecommerce is critical for any business in order to grow, but in order to continue to expand, you need more than just the basics. In a quest to get a shiny, new ecommerce solution, business leaders often forget to take into account the IT basics.
- Does the solution align with your tech stack?
- How much downtime will your website have?
- Will this solution need to be upgraded frequently?
The answers to these questions can make or break your ecommerce implementation — they have to be addressed when weighing a solution. In order to avoid getting stuck in a rut, wholesale businesses need an IT leader as an equal stakeholder who can evaluate the efficacy of a solution and help your expansion efforts.
The Ripple Effect
Sana Commerce commissioned Sapio Research to survey over 1,000 IT leaders about their B2B ecommerce solutions, and the results were not pretty. Eighty-four percent of respondents were not happy with their solutions, with 92 percent saying they have at least one frustration with their ecommerce platform.
IT departments spend 41 percent of their working hours on maintenance and 37 percent of their budget on integration. Instead of pursuing forward-thinking projects that can help the business grow, IT is spending time and money on putting out fires.
A key source of these fires are misaligned B2B ecommerce systems. When non-IT business leaders choose an ecommerce solution without consulting IT, they wind up with a solution that is not aligned with the tech stack.
This is called the ripple effect. Each configuration made ends up causing consequences, and these consequences build upon each other. Eventually, the IT department ends up drowning in a tidal wave of jury-rigged fixes, realignments, and compounding solutions that drain the value out of the ecommerce solution. What was implemented in the hopes of driving growth has now become a business nightmare.
Stopping the Ripples to Avoid the Tidal Wave
To avoid a tidal wave, you need to stop making ripples. To stop the ripples in your business, you must empower your IT leaders. IT is the infrastructure of your company, so you need them to keep building your brand.
Whenever any tool or software is under consideration, IT leaders must be consulted. This consultation will show how well the prospective software will align with your current tech stack, so you can see the true cost (not just software fees, but IT labor and budget) that the software will cost. You may be surprised to see how once-promising solutions can end up being quite expensive when they are misaligned.
Beyond simply consulting your IT leader, you can also empower the IT team as a whole to go out and discover new solutions. Have IT bring you prospective solutions that they have evaluated as being beneficial, which can help you to gain new insights, evaluate solutions you may have never considered, and develop a deeper understanding of how your IT infrastructure works together to keep your business running.
It can be easy to only focus on growth and scalability projections when evaluating any ecommerce solution, but you must remember that IT alignment determines whether these projections will be met. By bringing your IT team into the evaluation and decision-making process, you cut off the ripple effect before it happens. The result is a more efficient software implementation that maximizes success.
Tim Beyer is Global COO of technology scale-up Sana Commerce, and currently based in New York City as President and CEO of the Americas region: comprised of offices in New York City and Medellin.