Future proofing your tech strategy in 2024




09:30 am


Apadmi's HQ, Manchester

We gathered a range of experts at our Manchester HQ to explore how industry leaders are preparing for the year ahead when it comes to their tech and product strategy.

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With almost half a million apps downloaded per second globally in 2023, and with mobile users spending a third of their waking day on their phones, it’s clear that mobile technology is not slowing down anytime soon. 

So how can growing businesses adopt emerging tech more efficiently to future-proof their strategy and products? 

Creating innovative digital products is something that we’re extremely passionate about here at Apadmi. We gathered a range of experts at our Manchester HQ to explore how industry leaders are future-proofing their technology and their products.

At our breakfast event on Thursday 25th January, we brought together leading tech experts from the following brands:

    Yasmin Sidat, Senior Product Lead at Auto Trader

    John Wilson, Former CTO at The Range

    Ray Mosley, Head of Design at eBay

    Matt Hunt, Chief Performance Officer at Apadmi

Below is a summary of insights and experiences shared at the event to help you better prepare your business and technology for the year ahead.

Having space to play with new tech is essential

One of the most common themes amongst speakers was that to stay as up-to-date with new technologies as possible, it is essential to give people in the business space to play with them.

“I like to go places where it feels brand new, unknown and unexplored…we have to be in a constant creative play mode all the time. We will probably play with about 99 different ideas before we find one that works,” explains Ray, Head of Design at eBay. 

“We have to iterate and find the blockers, otherwise it’s not going to work - but I boil it down to getting a budget and buy-in for space to play with tech and ideas before testing the market in some way”.

It can be easy to feel panicked about the future as the rate of technology is so rapid, but Ray advised “Behaviour change in people is slow so you do have time to play, at some point human behaviour will start to tip and as they get more comfortable with new technologies, the penny will drop.”

Put tools like blockchain and AI to use, but take caution

Head of Design at eBay and its Web 3.0 arm of the business Known Origin, Ray is an advocate for technology such as blockchain and AI.

“Blockchain does well what others don’t, things like being able to transact from one country to another and borderless payment rails -  trust is built in as it’s secure and decentralised.”

However Ray acknowledged the current issues with the technology, “There are lots of challenges including regulation and scalability, it’s not quite there yet, so it is still worth taking caution when experimenting with this kind of tech."

John, former CTO at The Range, also commented, “AI is upon us, but it’s still early days. It’s not quite good enough for major adoption, generative AI is ok for things you don’t need to copyright, and you can build novice level code with them. Unfortunately, the majority of AI generated code gets stripped out of the system within 2 weeks.”

Start with the problem first, not the technology

When new technology appears and quickly creates a buzz (we’re looking at you ChatGPT), it can be easy to find yourself forcing this tech into your business where it might not necessarily fit. Our panellists all agreed that you need to step back and reframe your thinking.

John explained, “You need to start with a problem to solve, rather than have the solution and look for the problem. Lots of technologies will emerge that are looking for a problem, but you need to start with your own problem.”

Finding the best tools and the best solution possible for your business needs is more effective. 

“This might be where you need some outside help to assist you in selecting the right technology,” continues John. “Maintaining flexibility and agility in the way you use the tools in the future is essential. There will be surprises on your journey that you need to avert and adapt around, and you don’t want the technology you’ve selected today to hold you back tomorrow."

Don’t lose sight of what customers want 

Building on your offering and exceeding customer expectations is often an aim for many businesses looking to stay competitive. But our experts all warned of losing sight of what customers really want - you still need to get the basics right, and do them well to be genuinely useful. 

Auto Trader find that customers want to know the important things, as for many people, a car will be the second biggest purchase after buying a house. They don’t want to miss appointments or key details about their purchase -  they want to be able to put their appointments into their calendar, check their account space and get notified if there are any changes or updates. 

“Different customers want different types of experiences, whether that’s doing everything online or still seeing the product in person,” explains Yasmin, Senior Product Lead at Auto Trader.

“We’ve done well to build out a journey that isn’t just about going online and reserving a car, it’s also about exploring finance, thinking about leasing - there are customers at many different stages of this process."

For Auto Trader and their customers, this is where the app comes in…

Apps are still a key piece of tech to leverage

Yasmin revealed that 82% of customers at Auto Trader are using the app. The business is still investing in their app to ensure that it can offer customers the best possible experience whether they are right at the start or close to the end of their buying journey. 

John shared that The Range had actually avoided developing an app for several years, believing that their customer base would not be interested in one. The thinking had been “what more do they get from an app than they do by browsing the website on their phone?” 

However, when The Range went to test the market, they found a fraudulent app in their name that had been downloaded by over 10,000 users. 

“This proved to us that there was a market for an app, and it was one that needed to be addressed,” explained John.

Apadmi’s Chief Performance Officer, Matt Hunt, also echoed John’s sentiment, “People sometimes ask us - “but is there a future for apps?” Yes, there is! Of course we would say that, but the data agrees.”

“With over 250 billion new app downloads in 2023, $171 billion dollars spent in the app stores, and with the percentage of mobile commerce of all e-commerce sales set to grow by 66% in the next three years, it’s clear mobile apps are going nowhere soon.”

The pace continues to increase, but don’t rush

Apadmi's Matt Hunt summarised the event noting the variety of insights shared by the expert panellists. From AI to blockchain, apps to web, it’s clear that the pace of technology will be far from slowing down this year. 

However, the emphasis on having space to play with these technologies, testing what works for your business, and taking time to do this rather than rushing in on the latest trend is key. 

If you need help exploring which technologies will future-proof your business in 2024, reach out to us today. Or if you want to be in the know about all our upcoming events with expert speakers from the UK’s leading brands, sign up to our newsletter below!

Ontmoet de sprekers

Ray Mosley headshot 520 x 520
Ray Mosley
Head of Design, eBay
John Wilson | CTO | The Range | Headshot
John Wilson
Chief Technical Officer, The Range
Yasmin Sidat
Senior Product Lead, Auto Trader UK
Matt Hunt Headshot | 520x520px
Matt Hunt
Chief Performance Officer, Apadmi

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