Modern technology enables and retains digital builders

Digital leaders need their teams to create innovative solutions for customers, so it’s our job to give them the tools they need to be successful.
November 1, 2022


When I founded Contentful it was clear to me that there were no content management systems that enabled developers, so we had to build one. Since then, in my decade-long Contentful journey, I‘ve learned many strategies for enabling digital builders — including developers and digital marketers — to be more effective at and more satisfied in their roles.

As digital-first work and workplaces continue to evolve, effectiveness and job satisfaction often come down to the tools builders have to use and how well those tools meet their needs. Original research compiled by Contentful supports these observations.

Technology enables digital builders to innovate and meet goals

No matter your industry or sector, you undoubtedly have some ambitious goals to meet — the moment requires it. Our research shows that when digital teams are blocked from meeting ambitious company goals and customer expectations, it’s not due to a lack of imagination but rather a lack of the right tools and technology.

Over three-quarters (78%) of digital builders believe their company needs to adopt new technology to enable employees to deliver against the company’s ambitious goals. Hiring the right people is critical, but employee skill sets must also be augmented by technological capabilities to keep pace with growth expectations. 

Furthermore, builders are driven by the desire to make an impact with their work. However, 61% of digital builders spend more than half of their time on administrative tasks, leaving little time for creation and innovation. According to digital builders, this administrative overhead is a byproduct of their tools. Ninety-four percent feel their ability to be creative and innovative is sometimes or often limited by the technology they have access to. 

The right tools are catalysts — they can determine whether digital builders are energized by lofty goals, or demotivated, and whether teams work together easily and efficiently, or become siloed and struggle to connect and collaborate. When given the ability to work with their preferred tools, these teams of developers and digital marketers innovate more freely and more quickly. 

Graphic of a wrench

Builders want API-first tools

In today’s tech landscape, the “right tools” have a common denominator — they’re API-first. Ninety-one percent of developers who use service-oriented API software (as opposed to monolithic software suites) are “very satisfied” with their tech stack.

API-first tools also align with developers’ top three priorities for software: speed, functionality, and flexibility. Unlike legacy monolithic software solutions, which offer a multitude of capabilities while underdelivering on functionality and flexibility, API-first solutions allow companies — better yet, individual builders or targeted teams — to integrate tools that are purpose-built to deliver best-in-class functionality for specific business needs.

API-first tools enable individual builders as well as enhance business performance. Of developers who primarily work with API-first services, 81% say that their companies release new products “fast” or “super fast.” Alternatively, 39% of developers who work with few API-first services say their companies’ release of new products is “slow” or “super slow.”

Builders unsatisfied with available technology will go elsewhere

Technology doesn’t just equip builders with the tools they need to do their jobs well, it correlates to how satisfied they are in their roles. This is more important than ever as companies navigate the Great Resignation. 

Seventy percent of digital builders say the technology a company uses is “very important” in their decision to take a job. Even more — 85% — say they would leave a job, or consider doing so, based on dissatisfaction with the software and tools available.

When it comes to these tech-savvy employees, having access to the best tools keeps builders satisfied and demonstrates that their employers care about their happiness. Two-thirds (66%) of digital builders indicated that the software they use impacts their job satisfaction “a lot.” Another two-thirds (65%) say that the software and tools their company gave them to work with was a direct reflection of how they value them as an employee.

Graphic of a toolbox with the Contentful logo

Builders seek the freedom to choose their technology

Making sure digital teams feel happy about returning to work each week requires more than attempting to predict what tools they’ll need. It requires actually asking them what those tools are — and then procuring them. For digital builders, the freedom to choose which software they use makes a huge impact on how they feel about showing up to work as well. 

Sixty-eight percent of all digital builders say the ability to choose which software they use impacts their job satisfaction “a lot.” In better retaining team members, companies gain a competitive edge. They spend less time and resources addressing the after-effects of churn, like scouting for and back-filling roles and training new hires. The companies that invest in the best, most flexible tools — with guidance from digital builders — are investing in things far more valuable: employee loyalty, continued digital progress, and future success.

Building the tools to empower digital teams 

At Contentful, we're committed to the builder-first approach in the way we work and in the products we create. We believe that to be successful, organizations need to empower their digital teams — that means connecting people and systems with the right tools, so teams can work independently, yet in coordination with one another.

You can be assured that anything that makes it onto our product roadmap will be in support of these needs.

We always have builders and their concerns top of mind when building Contentful. Our composable content platform sits at the heart of a modern tech stack, and gives digital builders the flexibility they require to unlock the power of digital content and build the most performant digital experiences.

With time and resources freed up and ease of collaboration between developers and marketers, digital teams get to spend time doing what they do best.

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