Stack fatigue is real. It’s rampant. And it’s not going away any time soon.

By definition, a tech stack is a set of components or layers in a software offering that provides broad functionality to help you run the day-to-day operations of a business.

Large and small businesses alike are in a very interesting space they have never been in history. Why? There’s such a large variety of diverse tools to help them do business their way. Some solutions are free yet limited in function. Others offer a few more bells and whistles but need to be integrated with other tools in just the right way to work effectively.

Factor in the pace of change for technology and business in general, there’s a lot of time spent on simply staying current to effectively engage your target audience and stay on budget. This makes the sheer number of solution choices part of the problem. Add into the mix that business owners are often forced to use a tool that’s not strategic long-term, but it’s the sole tool that works with the other items in the tech stack.

Even as a small business owner, I need one stack to run a website, another to teach and promote my classes, a third to run and manage social media, and yet another to track client details. So far, I’ve been pulling together tools as I need them, but in all honesty, managing them effectively takes a lot of time, energy, and mental clarity that on some days is purely powered by coffee.

As businesses continue to modernize and adapt to the flow of technology and business, it’s only natural our thinking does, too. It’s time to consider the value of the Super SaaS (software as a service), or in other words, one multi-functional technology solution to reduce frustration and double work, while improving overall communication among teams to accomplish a shared goal of improved performance.

Understanding the True Cost of Tech Tools 

No one loves the idea of changing a well-worn workflow and the stress that comes with it. Avoidance behavior is also what keeps brands locked into doing the same old thing (even if it means cobbling together a bunch of random tools) and openly stepping into a pattern of diminishing returns. The costs of all the juggling may not be super obvious up front, yet they eat away at team performance and sales goals bit by bit.

Think about it in terms of how often your phone needs to update individual applications. When several applications update at different rates and times, there’s a lag that begins to form, impacting phone performance overall and the mobile aspects of how you shop, work, conduct research, and more.

Simply looking at all of the different tech solutions and related costs on a surface level is a good starting point to move towards tech stack improvements. The more important first step is to look at content operations as a whole and how to pair them with the best solution as a match.

Clarify Content Operation First, Tech Stack Second

There’s no question that successful content management breaks down into serving two key categories first and foremost: people and process. With those aspects clearly defined and outlined in writing, a workflow map begins to emerge.

Before you say, “I’m not a content operation, I’m a business,” I will stop you right there.

If you’re creating content regularly to reach a target audience through a website, social media, video, webinars, classes, and more, you are absolutely a content operation. This understanding is key to looking at the content you create as a business engine and managing it properly with the right tech stack tools.

Content volume, team communication complexity and competence, and management of deliverables and deadlines are just a few of the features required to keep a content operation moving along. However, each aspect requires a separate tool if you’re using a complex, cobbled-together tech stack. It’s this choice that can make workflow a laborious, needlessly complicated process or a simplified one that’s uniquely targeted to address your specific business needs.

So, when it comes to choosing a tech solution, rather than focusing on saving a few dollars with various integrated tools, weigh all the options against a big picture workflow and see how it all comes together. Include the role of each person using the tool. In the long term, any cost savings from multiple solutions will be lost due to inefficiencies that come with individuals trying to track workflow through a variety of tools and platforms versus implementing a single, comprehensive tool.

Pick a Platform to Honor the Content Lifecycle

When it comes down to choosing the right platform, it’s all about establishing the goals you have as a business and ensuring the required content can be created as efficiently as possible.

Next, you need to connect with individuals on teams to review workflow and collect input on how they complete tasks independently to meet an interdependent shared goal of success.

With feedback in hand, start asking some deeper questions to get into a tech stack mindset:

  • Does it make sense to buy into a tech stack that houses everything you could need, pulled together as content needs change and grow?
  • Are you interested in educational support and comprehensive technical support to make the most out of your tool of choice?
  • Is there a way to continue on as you are with a variety of tech stack tools in play long-term and actually save time, money, and energy?
  • Does your team communicate well or collaborate to meet deadlines with the current tech stack or could the tools use a refresh?
  • Are you frustrated and at a crossroads about what to do next?

At the end of the day, content quality wins. If you can create a volume of content with your current tech stack, but lack on value, you already have the answer: Your tools need an upgrade! On the other hand, don’t rush into a decision about tech stack needs due to impatience and fatigue. It’s the engine of your business that will grow with you if you select something that serves people and process for the win.

Still not sure where to start and feeling a little overwhelmed? Check out the free tools for content operations Kapost is offering to help businesses better understand—and eliminate—tech stack fatigue at the core to find tools that build up business success.

check out the content operations tools we're building at Kapost

Katrina Pfannkuch

About Katrina Pfannkuch

Katrina Pfannkuch is a creativity consultant specializing in writing, editing, strategy & coaching. She's a bit of a data nerd & loves seeing how pieces of the informational puzzle come together to paint a creative picture. Catch Katrina & her insights on kick-starting creativity at @creativekatrina on Twitter.