Development | Digital Strategy | Opinion

Why agencies should be more technology agnostic

Head of technical services, Sean Lamacraft talks about why an agency can't lean towards one tech stack over another.

29 June 2018 ( words)
Sean Lamacraft Sean Lamacraft

Generally speaking, a digital agency will fall into two different camps.

In the technology Industry being agnostic simply means being un-biased towards the use of different technology or tools to solve different problems instead of the belief that ‘one size fits all’.

Generally speaking, a digital agency will fall into two different camps.  One will specialise in one type of software tool, for example, Kentico OR Magento OR Sitecore.  The other will embrace a series of tools and apply the best fit to the project requirements.

Distinction stands pretty firmly in the technology agnostic arena.

Sure, a lot of the top CMS’ can mostly achieve the same output or goal, but how you get there and the ease of getting there is what sets them apart – along with the budget of course!  We are a strong believer of finding the right solution to a problem.  If an agency selects a tool before they understand the requirements and use case, they could very well end up spending a lot of time, resource and budget trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.

Ah, but surely an agency that specialises in one tool will have a much wider range of specific knowledge than the other that spreads itself too thin over multiple tools, I hear you say.  Yes, perhaps you’re right, but I would counter with the argument that no matter how much knowledge you have with one particular system, you will still ending up wasting time and resource trying to get something to work that was never quite designed to work that way.

For example, a few questions you could ask: 

  • Does the tool you use have an easy option to extend the back office/admin system?
  • Can you easily add custom functionality or is it mostly a black box?
  • Can you alter existing functionality with little disruption?
  • Will the system licence use up most of your budget meaning the site build isn’t perhaps as good as it could have been? 

The list of questions go on.

That said, you do have to be careful that the agency has enough knowledge on the tools it boasts, which is why we spend a considerable amount of time doing research and development along site frequent training.

We regularly attend conferences, webinar and training sessions for a selection of different tools such as Kentico, Magento, Hubspot and Headless CMS’s.

Most recently we attended Umbraco’s Codegarden, a 3 day global gathering in Denmark that boasted a plethora of quality sessions from community experts, core team members and acclaimed keynote speakers.  As the conference is mainly developer focused, it gave us great insights into complex use cases along with small nuances that could be tricky to resolve if you’ve never experienced them before.

To be fully agnostic takes more time and effort up front to learn and train staff to be experts in a series of tools, but the pay-out is absolutely worth it.  We pride ourselves on being able to offer the best possible solution to a brief.

Having options and the ability to provide a best fit tool is critical to achieve this.

Sean Lamacraft

Author: Sean Lamacraft