11 common mistakes when choosing a Tech Stack and how to avoid them

Ranya Barakat

January 18, 2022

Choosing the tech stack you are going to leverage the growth of your company should not be a decision you take lightly. Not only can it become a headache for your employees, but you could also be wasting valuable resources and hindering your operation. 

In the world of technology, not all that glitters is gold, and even tools that are superior in performance are not always the right ones for your business. That's why it's important to consider these points before committing to an inadequate tech stack. 

  • Marketing teams only use 58% of the potential of their martech stack (Gartner)
  • There are more than 8,000 companies in the digital ecosystem selling marketing software (Wildfire PR).
  • 94% of companies say data and analytics are key to growing their business (Microstrategy) 

What is a tech stack?

It is the ecosystem of tools, software, languages, and applications that a company has to automate processes, streamline its flow, and solve products or services. 

It is common to think that these problems are only experienced by large companies with a very heavy infrastructure where change can be difficult, but the reality is that no matter the size of the company, they all have challenges to overcome around their technology inventory. 

Whether we are talking about a start-up that is just starting out and needs tools for accelerated growth, or a large consolidated company that is looking to become more efficient and enable different areas to work with technologies that communicate and with information that is reliable.

Why should you care?

The quality of your tech stack can be key to the proper functioning of your company or become the villain that costs your company millions in revenue. When a tech stack is not well integrated, operational problems can pile up until they become unstoppable.

Some of the main problems of a bad implementation of technologies in your company can be:

  • Inconsistent data and definitions that don't align. When technology tools don't communicate with each other, some information gaps begin to manifest themselves and this translates into data that doesn't add up, a poor customer experience, and truncated visibility into the overall business.
  • Unachievable goals. When data fails, goals suffer consequences, it is well said that what is not measured cannot be improved, but if the source of the measurement is incorrect, the rest of the strategy is based on shifting sands. 
  • Poor adoption and high implementation costs. A tool is only as good as the ability of its users to put it to work; that is why a poorly defined technology stack can lead to users who do not use the tool well and long implementation processes that end up costing more than they should. 
  • Misalignment in the company. When each area works with the tools it wants and not with those that provide a greater good to the company, information and communication silos arise. A poorly defined tech stack can lead to the fact that instead of having several areas as part of the same team, you have individual players looking only for their own benefit. 

Teck stack mistakes to avoid

  1. Expecting it to be the solution
  2. Junk data
  3. Lack of definition
  4. Doing it all alone
  5. Let yourself be guided by the glitter
  6. Believing that more is better
  7. Fear of making decisions
  8. Considering automation as an extra
  9. Having a single source of data
  10. Siloed data
  11. Lack of expertise and adoption

These are 11 of the most common problems we see when working with companies looking to improve their tech stack or integrate the different tools they have: 

1. Expecting it to be the solution

Remember that technology isn't the only answer. It won't help to have the most up-to-date software if no one in the company uses it correctly or if correct data is not entered.

Furthermore, without a strategy, you can't expect technology to take the lead; cars don't win Formula 1 races, it's the teams and drivers that do. The same will happen in your company; it is critical to give considerable attention to your technical stack, but don't expect it to solve all of your issues right away.

2. Junk data

Feeding unclean data into your systems will exacerbate the situation, and data integrity and cleanup should not be neglected.

Information being stored correctly, data being deduplicated and cleansed, and integrating properly with other systems are all important components of a software stack.

Otherwise, you will be making plans and taking decisions based on inaccurate data.

3. Lack of definition

Another consideration, in addition to the one mentioned above, is the standardization of data and reports definitions.

It is important to define how data is managed, fed into the systems, and interpreted by everyone in the organization so that it may be transparent and useful.

Instead of wasting time validating data, those in charge can focus on analyzing and making better decisions because they are aware of how data is handled, fed into the systems, and interpreted.

4. Doing it all alone

It may appear to be a paradoxical situation to sign up for technology and then need outside assistance in using it. On many occasions, relying on a solution partner to help implement your IT stack and assist you in integrating it is preferable to attempting to do it yourself.

A good partner will assist you in understanding best practices for deploying your new technology stack and ensuring that it is optimized to maximize your teams' productivity.

5. Let yourself be guided by the glitter

All that glitters isn't gold. When it comes to picking and defining your technology stack, this is certainly true. Because a strong sales pitch persuaded them to embrace a new tool, many decision-makers make hasty decisions.

Technology must work in tandem with a plan, not as an impulse; even if the software you're offered appears to be the greatest thing since sliced bread, it may not be the best option for your stack; this does not imply that you will never use it again, simply that you should assess when is the right time to add it to your stack

It's important to remember that the more parts you add to your stack, the more complex usage of them will be.

6. Believing that more is better

Just as you should not let yourself be overwhelmed by great technologies, you should not fall into the trap of considering that a well-nourished stack is one that has an unlimited number of tools. 

There are more than 8,000 marketing and automation tools that you can use and many of them, being specialized in marketing, are very, very good at selling you the idea that you need them. 

Before adopting any new tool, analyze well if there is not already a tool you already have that does those functions if it is really something you want to implement now, how well it integrates with your current tools, how well it adapts to your current strategy or it will divert you from your goals and objectives. 

7. Fear of making decisions

The most significant challenge to building a perfect technical stack is not recognizing (or refusing to accept) when it's time to upgrade.

Many instances arise where technology stays longer than it should because the notion of moving systems appears to be a nightmare for everyone concerned, and it appears that staying where you are is best.

This only delays your company's progress since you'll eventually have to make the choice, so if you already doubt that you have the greatest technology for your firm and aren't doing anything about it, you're probably already too late.

8. Considering automation as an extra

If automation is not a priority and a pillar on which you build your RevOps strategy to make your go-to-market team more efficient. 

When you develop a tech stack-based plan, all aspects of your client's buying journey are integrated into your technology stack, giving you greater influence in decision making, sales processes, and customer qualification.

9. Having a single source of data

Although the objective is to keep everything in one location (for example, a CRM), entrusting all of your technical stack data to a single platform jeopardizes the security and viability of your information.

It's not about distributing information across different systems; it's about making sure the right connections are in place so that data is flowing between teams and everything is in sync.

10. Siloed data

It's easy to contradict the previous statement, which is why it's critical that data flows to all tools in order to provide your customers with the best possible experience.

When data is in silos, your customers will start to feel friction for example by requesting the same information that you already requested from them during purchasing.

11. Lack of expertise and adoption

Finally, the most important point to remember from this blog is that if your team doesn't use your tech stack.

It's critical to have people on your team who know the platforms and become true experts in their usage to be the champs helping the rest of the team with tool adoption ensuring that the rest of the company knows each tool well and uses it correctly, as well as training new members of staff.

Here you may use a hybrid approach, with an external team of consultants to help you with best practices.

What is the ideal tech stack?

While I'd want to offer you a solution, the harsh reality is that there is no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to businesses and technology. 

The chances of failure are greater when tools are hired as a response to a need for a feature rather than being an essential component.

You should not focus on how this new technology will meet your needs; instead, consider what your company objectives are and then engineer a technological solution that will help you achieve it; instead of considering how you might adapt the existing to your demands

However, I understand that selecting a tech stack can be intimidating because you most likely already have some existing tools and probably evaluate if they should stay or go. But there are hundreds of options to choose from! Eek!

If you're not sure how to start or if you need assistance, please let us know and we'll walk you through your objectives and expectations.

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Ranya Barakat

Ranya is a serial entrepreneur with over 8 years of experience working on the HubSpot CRM. She loves pushing her sleeves up , and getting s*** done. When she is not running her HubSpot partner agency, you can find her upside down on her yoga mat.

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