Apr. 21st, 2023
How Vercel powers digital transformation for enterprise teams
Transform your stack today.
89% of companies are either planning to adopt a digital-first business strategy or already have. To join the 89%, keep reading to learn how you can successfully complete your own digital transformation with Vercel.
What is digital transformation?
A digital transformation involves building a digital presence that allows customers to move seamlessly through your site. From creating new, digital processes that replace analog ones to upgrading your current digital processes with something more up-to-date, there are numerous ways digital transformations unfold.
We’ll focus on the latter: upgrading your tech stack with tools that allow for future changes and minimal tech debt. This enables your team to use the best-of-breed technology, and never get stuck with legacy software that no longer serves your needs.
Why is digital transformation important?
Adopting the latest digital practices empowers your teams to do their best work while enabling you to create a unified, omnichannel experience for users.
With the latest technology, developers can move quickly, and customers can have a fast, personalized, and optimized experience across all devices and browsers.
This modernization also removes the roadblocks that stand in a team’s way, allowing them to innovate more and iterate faster with actionable data.
An omnichannel experience
Customers today expect an omnichannel experience—where interacting on mobile, web, and in-store are all one seamless experience. The data backs this up: The average omnichannel customer spends 3x more than the average single-channel customer. But how do you leverage customer data to create a personalized experience no matter what channel your customer is interacting with? A composable, or headless, stack is a start.
A composable architecture is one in which the frontend and backend are decoupled for increased flexibility, improved performance, and lower costs. Both ends are joined together with a single API. This API can speak to multiple end-user points—mobile, web, and point-of-sale (POS) systems—and you can even reuse the code for those avenues to lighten the load on your developers.
Want more details on how to go headless?
See how Loom uses Vercel to adopt a composable architecture—empowering every team to iterate quickly.
3 steps towards creating an omnichannel experience:
- Establish a centralized content platform
- Optimize your frontends
- Personalize your digital experiences
Let's go through each step so you can upgrade your user experience and start earning more revenue today.
1. Establish a centralized content platform
If you don’t have one already, establish a centralized content platform for your data that will work with your various frontends and channels. This empowers anyone in your organization to publish content—freeing up your developers and enabling your marketing teams to launch content that much faster.
Many companies use popular options like Contentful, WordPress, or specialized ones like Algolia. The key is to select a tool that doesn’t require added configuration, customization, or complexity. You want a tool that can easily be replaced within your application to prevent future tech debt.
2. Optimize your frontends
Once you have your centralized content hub, it’s time to optimize your frontends. Your frontends are your first impression, so having apps or websites that are lackluster or underperforming can drive potential customers away. Ensure their top performance to create an omnichannel experience that converts.
Vercel tip: Use the edge to improve performance
Unlike a traditional, serverful application, Edge Networks are an intelligently automated, global infrastructure that allow compute to happen closest to the user. This leads to:
- Reduced latency
- Faster page loads and better SEO
- Minimal downtime
- Lower costs
Vercel’s Edge Network will automatically optimize your static content, reduce latency during compute, and intelligently route any bot or SEO traffic.
This ensures that every visitor, even ones that are on slower networks or devices, get the best user experience possible.
When we deploy with Vercel, users around the world are instantly served our latest site at an edge near them.
3. Optimize each digital experience
Optimization based on personalization and experimentation is the final step in creating the ideal omnichannel experience.
By customizing across both web and mobile, you can provide the most relevant experience—no matter where your user is browsing.
Here's a tip...
Once you've created your omnichannel experience, it's time to optimize further through internationalization and experimentation.
From tagging images on social media to pinpointing locations for content localization—including language, currency unit, and cultural context—companies use geolocation as part of their internationalization strategy for a variety of reasons.
With Vercel Edge Middleware, you can safely pre-deploy multiple versions of your site and route users to the correct version at runtime with zero delays.
Internationalization with Vercel geolocates requests automatically at runtime, so your dev team doesn’t need to manage or pay for a geolocation service or add scripts that slow down your performance. With Vercel Edge Middleware, you can achieve:
- Faster sites: less client-side code
- Smoother page load: reduced flicker
- Simpler site version management
By showing users the experience most relevant to them, without flicker or lengthy load times, potential customers around the world are empowered to find what they’re looking for faster.
To glean meaningful insights from your users, experiment at the edge. Vercel Edge Middleware allows for first-party experimentation that won’t disrupt your users’ experience. You can even use it to instantly deploy a site behind feature flags—providing one more level of personalization.
Edge Config is amazing. We’ve been hoping for a product like this for a while, and now it’s here! Really excited to see how this plays out with the increased traffic we’ll be seeing over the next few weeks.
By relying on Vercel for A/B testing and feature flags, you can:
- Ensure the control never shows. Vercel makes decisions on the server side instead of the browser.
- Deploy instantly from behind a feature flag. Even with a different version running in the background, new features load correctly.
- Reduce client-side code. Remove the need for third-party scripts to improve site performance and lessen the amount of code sent to the client.
As a software engineer from SumUp shares, “With Edge Middleware, we can show the control or experiment version of a page immediately instead of using third-party scripts. This results in better performance and removes the likelihood of flickering/layout shifts.”
Data-driven, rapid iteration for peak innovation
Whether you’re getting data from experiments or a recent campaign, companies are encountering high data volumes that can be overwhelming, and often hinder the performance of the site you’re trying to improve. It doesn’t help when your team doesn’t have a streamlined way to act on the data your organization worked so hard to get.
An infrastructure that allows for rapid iteration, first-party experiments, and a workflow that empowers self-sufficiency are all key to becoming a modern, data-driven organization.
We find that successful companies tend to look for three key things:
- A modern infrastructure
- Actionable insights
- A workflow that empowers the entire organization
As our company grows, teams across Rippling are empowered to make the changes they need. Over 90% of site changes are deployed by stakeholders immediately, giving me the freedom to keep improving Rippling’s site performance and user experience.
1. A modern workflow that sheds tech debt
63% of developers say tech debt is slowing down the pace of development. Slow builds, convoluted tooling, or cumbersome staging pipelines all limit how often they can ship or make progress on impactful projects.
With an infrastructure that provides everything you need to host your storefront—like zero-configuration staging environments, a dedicated support team, and more—your team can focus on what they’re there to do: deliver delightful user experiences that convert.
2. Actionable analytics for prime performance
By fully understanding what your users engage with and how, you can create the best digital experience possible to increase leads and hit your KPIs. We suggest looking for analytics that include:
- Privacy-friendly, real-time traffic insights
- Data from the devices your users are using
- An easy way to analyze your site’s performance
Vercel Analytics is one way to get the data you need to make insightful decisions. Analytics provides in-depth page view metrics gathered from the actual devices your users are using, while sharing your Real Experience Score—the combined score of the Web Vitals experienced by your visitors.
3. A workflow that empowers the entire organization
With tooling designed to embrace modern workflows, web teams can break down silos and shorten feedback loops. Often, teams work apart from one another, yet rely on developers to make updates to the website. This results in a longer time to market and less productivity. By opening the feedback process to everyone in the organization, teams can iterate faster for peak innovation.
Vercel Preview Deployments with collaborative capabilities empower you and your team to preview website changes on production-grade infrastructure—putting an end to screenshot sharing and complex staging environments.
With Preview Deployments, your team can:
- See your changes live with zero added configuration. Without leaving the browser, stakeholders can comment directly on components, copy, and layouts in real time. You can even integrate comments with Slack, screenshot, and see which browser each commenter is using to iterate faster.
- Test and review on live infrastructure. Vercel provides a zero-configuration CI/CD with first-class integrations for GitHub, GitLab, and Bitbucket. Automatically generate live Preview URLs when creating a pull or merge request using Git.
- Rely on centralized feedback. Share your work like it’s already in production with live Preview URLs. Vercel handles the staging environment for you.
Normally, we are trying to make a screenshot and send it through whatever [platforms for review]. When Vercel launched the comments section, it was great. I installed it the same day.
Adopting a headless, composable architecture
The process of digital transformation should ultimately result in a stack that’s flexible and adaptable as business needs change. When deciding on what technologies to choose, successful companies look for tools that make it easy to not only change tools in and out, but also enable new team members to quickly and easily ramp up. This typically means adopting a headless, composable architecture.
Learn how the innovators are going headless with Vercel
Download the guide to learn more about headless architectures and the benefits of decoupling the frontend from the backend.
When planning their move towards a composable stack, we find that successful companies prioritize tech that is backed by a large community and stays flexible as needs change. Let's dig deeper into both considerations.
Tech backed by a large community
Open-source tools with strong communities allow new employees to easily get up to speed. When turnover inevitably happens, you won’t need to worry about losing knowledge at the same time.
By empowering developers to continue using the tools they know and love, setup and onboarding time is reduced. It also makes it easy for teams to get help from community members and contributors when challenges arise.
With a shared understanding across the organization and massive open-source communities, teams across the business can iterate quickly to beat the competition.
When I first joined Loom, they were already using Next.js and Vercel. That appealed to me as a frontend engineer, because you always want to be using the best available tools. Loom choosing Next.js means that they prioritize performance and developer experience.
Future-proof tech that fits into stakeholder workflows
Future-proof your tech stack to stay nimble in the years to come. By adopting a composable stack with Vercel as your frontend, you can easily swap out your backend and migrate smoothly. Your users’ experience won’t be affected, and your frontend will only need minor API updates to get going with the new setup.
In conclusion: Transform your stack today for business impact tomorrow
Successful enterprises today are prioritizing digital transformation initiatives to enable their developers to create faster, better provide for their customers, and boost their bottom lines. We've provided the framework to get started on your own, but if you want more one on one help ensuring your digital transformation is a success, Vercel can help.
Ensure your digital transformation is a success
Reach out to our experts for a custom walkthrough and explanation on how we can help you transform your digital presence.