"Building a business is like building a home. If the foundation rests on an unstable setting or is constructed with subpar materials, it doesn't matter if the rest of the home is perfect. It will never be a joy to its owner"
Author: Thomas J. Stanley.
What is a Technology (Tech) Stack?
A tech stack is the definition and implementation of the business applications and support services so the organization can drive revenue, build and sustain positive customer relationships, develop a solid brand identity and support vendor and investor relationships. In essence, the tools to run your business.
A little wordy but pretty complete.
Looked at in simpler terms, your business’s various tech stacks are like a set of children’s building blocks. A thoughtfully built toy house made of blocks stands easily. A house with mismatched blocks, laid out without thought, falls over.
Now replace building blocks with business applications, servicing a common business function, and you have a tech stack.
And yes and yes, you will have many. For example, one for e-commerce, Another for staff and office productivity. Another for (and near and dear to my heart) Sales and Marketing.
Why Do Tech Stacks Matter?
Your Tech Stack
Is your competitive edge that allows your “punch” outside of your weight class through the use of automation, integration, a shared view of the customer/prospect, etc. and other technologies that I will describe in later articles.
Is a planning tool that allows you to thoughtfully select the tools you will need to be successful, instead of reacting to the next “shiny toy”
Eliminates investment surprises as it naturally identifies the investment of funds needed to cover initial license fees, implementation fees, ongoing support fees and staffing fees, without running into surprise and having to “go back to the well” for unplanned funding.
Foster department integration and prevent process silos in an organization. The integrations can be based on technology, improving data accuracy and increasing business velocity. It can be cross departmental, where company staff share one view of the client, and not just through the lens of their immediate needs.
A tech stack is the list of products and solutions you need to operate your business from a technology perspective. You will have multiple tech stacks.
You will always have a tech stack. The question is whether they are planned or evolved unguided.
Tech stack designs are part and parcel of building your organization and, as such, are strategic and not tactical decisions.
An absence of, or a mis-design of, your tech stacks will, at least, throttle your business, and at worst, kill it.