Over the past few years, I’ve written several posts discussing the importance of interoperability for marketing technology solutions generally, and for DAM solutions specifically. Today, there aren’t many marketing technologies that operate in isolation, and enterprise marketers are recognizing that it’s the overall marketing technology “stack” that is the real driver of enterprise value.
Research studies have shown that most enterprise marketers prefer “best-of-breed” marketing technology solutions. For example, Forrester Research recently published a report dealing with digital experience technology and delivery priorities. When survey participants were asked what factors are important when selecting a technology solution, the two most frequently identified factors were ease of integration and use of best-of-breed. In a survey by Walker Sands Communications, 32% of large enterprise respondents (those with companies having more than 1,000 employees) reported using integrated best-of-breed solutions.
Scott Brinker (aka Chiefmartec) has recently argued that “platformization” is enabling marketers to take a suite and best-of-breed approach to marketing technology. Many marketers are using technology suites as digital marketing hubs and then adding numerous best-of-breed applications to create a customized marketing technology stack.
At ADAM (now part of Aprimo), we’ve long recognized the importance of interoperability, and we have a Technical Proposition that discusses the interoperability of our DAM solution.
So, what are the attributes of a software application that has a high level of interoperability? Gartner recently addressed this issue in a report dealing with digital experience platforms (DXPs). According to Gartner, an “open” DXP will have four key attributes.
- A Services Model – Service-oriented architecture (SOA) is the model used by most software developers for providing interoperability. Gartner says that the current focus on SOA is in API models and microservices.
- An Open API – An open DXP will have an open RESTful API that provides a flexible model for both the production and the consumption of services.
- Cloud-Friendly – While a DXP doesn’t have to reside in a cloud environment, an open DXP will be able to integrate with services and applications residing in a variety of cloud environments.
Standards-Based – An open DXP will adhere to industry standards where they exist, and where they don’t exist, it will use code that is services-based and exposed via the API.
These attributes can be applied in some form to most marketing technology applications, and they provide a good starting point for evaluating interoperability.