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The Cool Conundrum: The Downside to Shiny, New Tech Platforms, And Why ‘Boring’ Is Often The Best Bet

The Cool Conundrum: The Downside to Shiny, New Tech Platforms, And Why ‘Boring’ Is Often The Best Bet.

Developers are always on the lookout for the latest technologies to spark some joy into their sites, and to stimulate themselves, of course. Yet, what’s new and cool often brings unfulfilled promises and a list of limitations. And let’s not only pick on developers; it’s hardwired into most of us: we gorge on the latest gadget and tinker with the shiniest tech.

Among these cool kids on the playground you won’t find Salesforce Commerce Cloud vying for attention. They’re the quiet one in the classroom that no one is noticing but working really hard to secretly become the valedictorian. But that’s OK, because it quietly functions under the radar, the unsung hero that gets things done without hitting the headlines.

So what are the potential downsides to cool technologies? Why not chase after the Bright, Shiny Object?

  • Life expectancy: Just like our own mortal souls, attractive platforms have a tendency to come and go. So while they can generate some excitement with its good looks, they won’t be around for long.

Do you remember Audrey, or the G4 Cube? I do — but only because I looked them up. New tech can be hyped to the heavens but famously flop. Especially if the focus is on style over substance. So as a general rule we’d say: “Don’t believe the hype”.

  • Bug problem: Cool tech platforms haven’t been as time-tested and fully debugged as older platforms have, which have labored away for years at repairing problems and fixing bugs.

Simply part of the virtual world, bugs menace all software. Yet older platforms have the experience of detecting and debugging issues. Some famously are only noticed decades later, such as Bash’s Shellshock vulnerability that made access to hacking uncomfortably easy. After 25 years under the radar it was eventually patched in 2014. New platforms, then, approach this minefield not having previously detected bugs. So stepping into them is, of course, unavoidable.

  • Light or heavy on features: What’s cool often doesn’t have the more subtle, fleshed out features that older platforms have accumulated throughout their existence.

Too few features have the result of severely restricting what a developer can do, minimizing creativity and maximizing frustration. While at the opposite end too many features are burdensome, and can be overwhelming — or even useless. The better platforms strike that smooth balance between the number of features and their usefulness.

  • Limited sophistication: As with life itself, what becomes older becomes more complex. New and cool platforms are often unable to compete with the large library of plugins, extensions and tooling that those older, seemingly boring platforms have developed.

Imagine opening up a chic bookstore that you’ve stocked full of ancient texts and modern novels. Yet you decided to set up shop opposite the New York Library, a 19th century institution with more than 54 million books and other items to discover. It had the time to expand its collection, like a good old platform had in aggregating its supply of reliable plugins and extensions.

We know that vogue tech catches the eye, like bright sparks of intrigue. And they provide an outlet for creativity. But their limitations tend to lead you down a short path.

Having said that, cool tech can capture the hearts of developers for good reason. And they have the ability to provide great value, for example, since each generation of new tech tends to solve the problems of the previous generation (while causing other problems, of course).

One strong advantage is that if it’s cool it attracts the best new talent. Creative minds migrate to new and exciting worlds where they can use their creative juices. These new platforms can become the canvas for innovative ways for consumer interaction or revolutionize the way people buy goods and services. Which is great if you have the economic freedom to pay them in one hour what others make in one year. Inevitably it will set back any ecommerce company.

But I bet you can guess what platform doesn’t have these issues? That’s right! Founded in 2004 as “Demandware” (RIP that beloved brand name), Salesforce Commerce Cloud has had 16 eventful years of service, growing and maturing along the way.

In terms of bug problems, SFCC has an army of software developers working with the platform, working away at fixing faults and finding bugs in the system. And when it comes to the supply of features, SFCC is always refining them and their functionality in order to stay with the fast pace of evolution inside of the ecommerce sector. Some of these features include A/B testing, allowing you to experiment with multiple formulas for your site. Then there’s the sophisticated sorting order feature that enables greater control over what appears in the dropdown. And there’s the exciting hypernyms feature that lets you refine the search results that customers seek out.

So while new things generate excitement and intrigue, your best bet is to seek out the old wise head. If you want serious results, you’d be better off spending your time with old reliable Salesforce Commerce Cloud.

PS: UV is one of the world’s leading Salesforce Commerce Cloud development & strategy teams. Contact us to see how we can work together.

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