The term ‘future-proof' is something we hear a lot. But what exactly does it mean?

Wiki's definition is: "Future-proofing is the process of anticipating the future and developing methods of minimising the effects of shocks and stresses of future events."

In the world of tech, things can change very quickly. Technology that was cutting edge 5 years ago may now seem slow and cumbersome - even outdated!

Future-proofing your digital landscape can really help your business cope with technological changes that would otherwise hinder it. Renewing and innovating can give you the edge over your competitors.

So how do you future-proof your digital landscape? We've put together a list of 5 factors you should look at when considering future-proofing:

  1. Update your website
  2. Use simpler integration
  3. Use 'in-demand' products
  4. Know your customers
  5. Embrace personalisation

1. Update your website

We've all done it. Visited a clunky website and bounced.

That's why presentation, speed and functionality is everything. Your website is the gateway to your business. That first impression says a lot about your brand and how it engages with your audience.

Not updating your website will eventually hurt your pocket. Putting it off year after year is only delaying the inevitable. That's why it's so important to ensure you're delivering a slick experience to your audience that drives conversions. Of course, we understand that budgets come into play, but the investment will be worth it.

2. Use simpler integration

We’ve all heard of plug-ins. They connect to your existing system to deliver additional functionality. But the problem with them is that they can become outdated.

Somewhere along the line they’ll need updating, and there may be instances where either your website or the plug-ins have outgrown each other. In other words they're not compatible anymore because of technological differences, much like an old laptop reaching its software update limit.

Digital Experience Platforms on the other hand can combat this. They’re all-in-one systems that don't need plug-ins to perform additional tasks like testing and personalisation.

Sitecore’s Composable DXP goes one step further. Although it has composable components that you can add to your website according to your business needs, these composable add-ons are designed to work seamlessly with your Sitecore website.

3. Use 'in-demand' products

As consumers we expect a lot. As a business owner you need to do your best to accommodate expectations. If you have the budget and the addition of a new feature aligns with your business, then why not look at in demand products that will enhance the customer experience?

Take chatbots for instance. They're a lot more common today than they were a year ago. That tells you something.

Businesses are using updated implementation methods to employ chatbots to reduce customer service costs. These are the businesses that won't get left behind. They're upping their game to connect with their customers in a more efficient manner.

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4. Know your customers

If you don't know your customers you don't really know who you're selling to. That's why it's so important to have an iron grip on who your audience is, and why they want your product or service.

The way to do this is by customer journey mapping. This allows you to visualise the customer’s experience while they're interacting with your brand. It enables you to align your digital landscape with customer needs. Understanding your audience is a key factor to the information you provide during the user journey.

Establishing the 'who' and 'why' from the outset definitely helps with providing solutions to your audience. But don't panic if you haven't done this yet. It's never too late. Even if you plan on starting this process now, you're on the right road.

5. Embrace personalisation

It's that word again. But there's a reason why we see it so much in digital marketing articles. It's because internet users expect a level of personalised service. From websites to email automation, feeling 'special' can be the difference between a conversion, or not.

Personalisation is inherently linked to knowing your audience. If you know the 'who' and 'why' you're able to answer the 'how' and 'when'.

Unfortunately, we see it so many times with clunky experiences that don't reflect customer intent. Don’t be one of these websites!

In a world of instant gratification, personalisation is a great way to really connect with your audience.

Working with Codehouse

We've been building digital experiences that make a difference for over 15 years.

Our experienced teams have worked their magic with technologies that build customer relationships. If you have a digital project you want to talk to us about, get in touch when you're ready.