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Episode 84: Tech Stack Consolidation: It's Time to Streamline Your Bloated Tech Stack

by Hannah Rose | Mar 6, 2024 10:00:00 AM

With the average company using 200+ SaaS applications, tech stacks have become unmanageable. Consolidating your tech stack, choosing an effective foundational platform, and ensuring your business process drives your technology are all part of getting your tech stack back on track.



Additional Resources:

Show Notes:

Pre-Show Banter: 

  • Doug thinks there should be an entire episode where he and Jess take a nap.
  • Jess is very excited about the team trip to Disney and is even more excited to be there early and in the parks without any kids and before the rest of the team gets there.
  • Jess shares her Disney knowledge and expertise on the different attractions in Epcot and the lineup of countries.
  • Jess comes up with a plan for how her, Doug and Ash can all drink around the world (and survive.)

Tech Consolidation was a topic chosen by Doug because tech stacks have been and are continuing to get out of hand. With that come many frustrations. 

There’s no question that tech eliminates friction. Doug’s question is, does it end up creating more friction than it eliminates? He believes far too often it does. 

In 2019 there was a mushroom effect of tech applications. What Doug meant by that is that SaaS application blew up over night. One day there were 100 apps and the next day there were 1,000. There has been a slowdown since then, but during that time there was an exponential plus growth. 

What are some of the impacts of the mushroom effect

From a Harvard Business Review article, the average worker today changes between applications and websites 1,200 times per day. The whole point of buying technology is to do more with less, but our cost per keeps going up.

Today to become sustainable as a SaaS product, you have to start adding more and more things to the functionality of the application. The danger and issue there is that it’s hard to tell what parts of the application employees are using. This can create a shadow stack - pieces of tech that people in your company are using that you don’t know about.

What should you consider as you’re trying to navigate the bloated tech space?

You have to ask yourself the question, what are you using technology for? What are you buying technology for? What is the job of technology?

The important decision that someone has to make is their platform. You have to decide the platform approach that you’re going to take. How you choose that platform will determine how broad your tech stack will be. From there you can determine what other applications you need and how they fit to the platform.

You cannot effectively manage your tech if you’re not effectively managing your business. 

The process you should go through starts with answering a few questions. 

  • What are you doing this for?
  • What are the outcomes?
  • How do the technology outcomes connect to the business outcomes?

Number 1: find your outcomes.

Number 2: map your processes based on your business processes.

Number 3: audit your current tech stack. You should be auditing your tech stack once a year and reviewing it semi-annually to quarterly.

Tech is not the solution. It’s an enabler; it’s a utility.

Jess’s Takeaways: 

  • What are you buying technology for? The jobs to be done approach is one we always use and recommend. 
  • Choose your platform. Know that choice impacts your entire tech stack. 
  • A powerful question to ask about each application that you have in your tech stack is, if we couldn’t have this, what would we do and would it make a difference?

Next Steps: