Agility has nothing to do with how nice your DMO website looks. Sure that’s important, but nice is like the paint job on your fenders. Agility has to do with the engine and drive train under the hood. These are what make your site a success. Agility is about framework. It is also about support. Think of framework as the glue that ties everything together. If your site is unglued, it is like a stack of children’s ABC blocks. It will eventually topple and your organization will be left to clean up the pieces. Toppled systems need to be trashed in their entirety. Agile systems always remain in place. It is just the component blocks that are added or deleted that comprise its content.
Support has to do with successful and continued operations. It also has to do with pricing. If you buy a one-company solution, your provider holds all the cards. Every addition of a new feature is an expensive add-on. Every system change requires a call to an outside technologist or a 3rd party service team. If your system is part of a worldwide architecture like WordPress, you belong to a community with millions of expert members. You can contract services in a highly competitive environment. If your tech person leaves, you are backed-up because there are 500 people in your area that can jump right in knowing exactly how your system works and how it was built. If you buy into a privatized system and want to change ships, you are lost. Private companies don’t let you take capacities with you after your contract expires.
Usability has to do with how much content you can control. It also has to do with how easy is it for you to manage day-to-day content distribution without having to call a technology system expert. The most useable system is one with an intuitive dashboard admin that runs everything from mobile to web to social media instantly and simultaneously. If you find yourself jumping from one control panel to another to operate various screens or output channels, your system is less than useable. It is also inefficient and costly to run.
3Web and mobile paradigms shift constantly. Nobody knows where the next shift will take the industry. What we know is that as soon as the shift takes place, your visitors will be demanding a solution. Right now, destination marketers need to deliver a personalized web experience. They need technology to affect a social and mobile strategy. After that? Who knows? What marketers can do is avoid painting themselves into a corner by investing in systems that doesn’t go stale after 3 to 5 years. They can do this by not adding separate capacities to a doomed ABC block stack. Instead, they can invest in system frameworks and architectures that become stronger with new features as they build out to meet visitor expectations.
Affordability is the hard dollar cost of the deployment, plus the cost of the time it will take to deploy, manage, configure, update, etc. The more complex and customized the ABC stack is, the more expensive a DMO solution becomes. Not only is complexity the result of many expensive add-ons, it relates to the numbers of hours it takes to manage the feature mass. The only affordable system is an agile one. Agility means that nothing is scrapped or abandoned. It’s like home ownership. You don’t have to burn the house down when you want to remodel your bathroom. Nor do you have to watch your monthly mortgage shoot through the roof every time you paint a wall or add a new lighting fixture. A good technology uses the firm foundation of your technology enterprise and builds ever higher upon it.