Why You Need a Web Service

Tue, October 1, 2013

Give a man a spreadsheet, and he’ll have data for a day. But build a man a web service, and he’ll have data to feed all of his current and future applications.

Let me back up. As a digital agency, we regularly work with both marketing and IT departments, and it’s not uncommon for us to observe a gap between the two. Marketing applications (think product catalogs or “where to buy” locators) rely on data to drive them, and in a lot of organizations, managing that data is anything but easy.

While overnight updates and third-party management used to be common solutions, they don’t work with the demands of today’s digital world. They frustrate IT, frustrate Marketing, and ultimately frustrate customers who don’t understand why product data isn’t available or is inaccurate.

Yes, you can work with a vendor to send a nightly updated spreadsheet. But the advantages of a centralized data store are numerous. Here are some of the big ones.

It’s easier and less expensive to update.

Change once and it updates everywhere, instead of having to make changes in multiple places. No more versioning.

It’s updated in real time.

No more nightly batches.

It’s more secure.

You control your own data.

It can be consumed by any number of clients.

The same data store can serve your website, your mobile app or apps, a kiosk in the lobby, a distributor portal or other B2B partner, even an electronic billboard.

It lets marketing departments focus on marketing.

The marketing team no longer has to worry about making manual updates and getting everyone the most current data.

So IT and Marketing folks, if you aren’t already, start lobbying for the budget to build a web service. Your partners will be happy about the live feed, your customers will be happy to get real-time information, and you can all focus on doing what you were hired to do instead of worrying over your data management.

For more information about service oriented architecture, feel free to get in touch with us. Our engineers would love to show you how it can revolutionize your business.