Opinion: Modular communication; the new periscope of specialisation

Micro services is a common offering which is often discussed. The author looks at how this could shape the future of the communication business

Jul 23, 2018 09:25:00 AM | Article | Minal D'Rozario

The communication diaspora is coming full circle, and the opportunities of getting deeper into businesses is growing far more pertinent. Having been exposed to some of our technology clients, micro services is a common offering which is often discussed, and what it really means is a method of developing software applications as a suite of independently deployable, small, modular services in which each service runs a unique process and communicates through a well-defined, lightweight mechanism to serve a business goal. This started to get me really interested in the connection of this service and how we could or are approaching communication. The brings up a new concept of modular communication. 
To explain better let me link the approach of work and basic parameters to the offering to micro services definition. 
Small in size - We are realising the impact of crisp and specific content creation attached to a goal or milestone, and building clusters of small content assets, which can be brought together to create a bigger campaign. From apps to billboards, the construction of content is broken into clusters across touch points vis a vis one hand fits all. 
Messaging Enabled - Messages are being segregated into several subsets of parameters and consumer behavior. The in-depth mapping of the customer journey is leading to the identification of specific pockets of communication and opportunities of leveraging audience interest across mediums. The brand narrative will become very inventive and takes you from chapters to a full fledged story. 
Bounded by Context - Context is upto interpretations and has to be channelised by the audience parameter set, we cannot assume anymore the effects of context to a specific community, rather its becoming far more individualistic in nature. 
Autonomously Developed - Creation of independent curated properties, digital or offline, need to have a designed purpose, objectives and ethos to hold itself apart from the brand itself. 
Independently Deployable - We may call it virality, but what it really means is the content natural ability to transcend to pockets beyond the boundaries of predefined communities. The channelization of communication needs to work like an engine and flow creating velocity, being able to deploy micro content assets together in lieu of a larger campaign.  
Decentralised - The external façade of a seamless communication from Point 0 to Point 10 needs to have one vision and be connected. Gone are the days of loyalty, and today, its all boiling down to customer experience; so being able to ignore one over the other could only be detrimental. Every aspect of building a communication campaign should be decentralized to ensure the best suitable minds are working on each aspect, with an architect bring all these ‘micro-services’ together in the end.
Built and released with automated processes - Lets accept it; amplification without a measured outcome is not considered relevant anymore; so let’s adapt and be agile to build service automation and agree to new methods for an expansive outreach or outcome. 
The above steps are not rules; they have helped in opening corridors of an in-depth entrenchment towards communications, as we have traditionally known it. Collaboration to build a strong pipelines of content, structure and implementation in communication would be needed, and the best minds for each ‘micro-service’ (read: medium execution) would need to brought together. This way if one micro service needs to be refined or improved, it does not affect the quality and speed of other communication campaign aspects. Let us learn from our technology counterparts, and start becoming agile and inculcate the key principles of DevOps into our communication industry. This will allow us to build more seamless channels of delivery with a focus on measurable outcomes. The periscope of different modules coming together will start becoming a beautiful pattern of art, and the question is, who will hold the periscope and engineer this change?
(Minal D'Rozario is the co-founder and director; Ideosphere Consulting)