Selecting the right tech stack for your project or company is a huge decision! Which tools you choose will impact the capabilities and limitations of your business, so you’ll want to select each one carefully.
Here we'll dive deep into creating your own operational tech stacks, from sample tools to questions you need to ask before you start.
What is an Operational Tech Stack?
A tech stack is a set of technologies a company utilizes to build and run a project, from websites to web apps to mobile apps. These technologies include those necessary for front-end and back-end development and technologies used by marketing, sales, and other teams. When we look at that second group, the tools used by teams outside of engineering, that's the operational tech stack.
So, why is it called a tech “stack”? Technologies at the “bottom” of the stack are foundational and support all the ones on top of it.
Why Does Getting Your Stack Right Matter?
Which technologies your company chooses will considerably affect the way your projects function internally and externally. For example, which coding and programming languages the developers utilize can create limitations in certain areas while boosting scalability, or vice versa (and anything in between).
It’s a massive undertaking to change your tech stack mid-project. Therefore, it is highly beneficial that you get it right from the get-go.
TLDR; the technologies you choose define what your project will be and what its limitations are.
Operational Tech Stack Tools by Department
While most tech stack examples refer to programming and software development, the tools that make up your technology stack may also encompass other teams, including sales, marketing, service, ads, and many more.
Here are a few tech stacks by industry, noting different categories of tools these teams might need.
Your sales technologies should enable prospecting, pitching, and closing, all while allowing your sales team to do their job confidently and efficiently. This should include:
- Sales enablement tools
- Data management software
- Video recording tools
- CRM software
- Call tracking software
- Meeting scheduling software
Some of these sales technologies can include Salesforce, DemoDesk, and HubSpot.
Human Resources Tools
Your HR tech stack should allow your team to find, evaluate, hire, and manage the best candidates possible. Here are some tool categories to consider:
- Payroll software
- Benefits administration tools
- Applicant tracking software
- Performance appraisal software
- Candidate assessment software
- Attendance tracking tools
Some examples of these technologies include Workday, ADP, Lever, Greenhouse, Gusto, and CodeSubmit.
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Related: How to Hire Software Developers in 2021
Marketing tech stacks must allow the team to attract, build, and maintain your business’ audience. This can include:
- SEO tools
- Email automation and tracking software
- Analytics tools
- Content management system
- Lead generation tools
- Social media management tools
- Chatbot software
- Newsletter tools
Some of these marketing technologies can include Ubersuggest, Hootsuite, Userlist, Ahrefs, MailChimp, and Streak.
Customer Success Tools
Your customer’s experience is an essential part of any thriving business. Lousy customer service can kill a company. Your service team needs a tech stack that allows them to address customer problems quickly and efficiently. Here are some service tech stacks by category:
- Live chat software
- Ticket management software
- Help desk software
- Survey software
- Call center software
- Knowledge base software
Some tools for the service team can include Intercom, SurveyMonkey, HubSpot’s ticketing software, and Watched Elements.
Although your ad tech stack may fall within your marketing one, it’s also possible you have an entirely different set of tools. Regardless, here are some categories of tools your ads team will need:
- Social ad management platforms
- Asset creation tools (for designing graphics and videos)
- Programmatic advertising software
- Search engine marketing tools
Some technologies to include in your ad tech stack include AdRoll, Canva, and Google Ads.
How to Build Your Tech Stack
Step 1: Identify business goals and objectives
Whether you’re building a tech stack for a specific project or your entire company, you need to start by identifying which business needs and questions exist. Some technologies are best at providing in-depth business insights for data analytics, while others provide information on user behavior.
Qualifying which questions you’re trying to answer and which problems you need to solve will help you select technologies that are best suited to providing answers.
Step 2: Engage employees who will use the tool
In reality, your tech stack says a lot about culture and engineering at your company. That’s why some of the best tech stacks highlight technologies their employees are sure to feel comfortable with.
While choosing technologies that help you address business questions is vital, these need to be tools almost everyone is comfortable using. When deciding on tools, talk with your teams and get their input. What level of complexity are they comfortable with? Which tools have they had success with in the past?
After all, a steep learning curve for even your senior employees means a delayed timeline and increased costs.
Step 3: Define the project and it's scope
The type of project your team is undertaking will significantly impact the technologies you choose. The tools you select for a web development project will differ from that of a mobile app project.
Tailor your tech stack to each given project and select the tools that will help your team build the best product possible.
You’ll also want to consider how big the project is. If this project is going to be a large and growing one, pick tools that scale efficiently.
Step 4: Set the budget
As with most things in life, some tools cost more than others. Having an idea of your budget early on will help you select technologies that fit within your constraints.
Make sure to look at the pricing of various tools in your tech stack, determine which subscription type you’ll choose, and figure out which tier you want.
Step 5: Set a timeline
While you want to select tools that your employees can easily use (see step 2), sometimes the best tools for a project force a learning curve. You don’t want this learning curve to be too steep for the majority of your team, but a degree of ramping up is reasonable.
That said, you’ll need to understand your timeline. Projects with tight deadlines necessitate a simpler tech stack to eliminate steep learning curves that can slow down even the most efficient employees. If your timeline is more flexible, perhaps you can opt for a more complex tech stack.
Step 6: Address security requirements
If you’re a biotechnology or fintech company, for instance, user data privacy is of the utmost importance. If there are industry requirements, make sure your tech stack allows you to meet those. Here’s a look at the compliance regulations of a few different industries.
You’ll want to consider tools that place privacy and security at the top of their priorities list. You’ll also want to invest in technologies that bolster your company’s security.
Related: No-Code Tools That Make Life Easier for Developers
Time to Build Your Tech Stack!
Now that you’ve looked at sample tech stacks by industry, it's time to build your own.
Remember to consider your project scope, timeline, and budget. Consider technologies not just for your developers but also for your marketing, sales, ads, and various other teams.
We hope you’re able to stack the best tech out there for your needs!