Tech Stack Diagram

What is a Technology Stack Diagram?

A technology stack diagram is used to illustrate how a set of technologies are “stacked” together to build an application. It presents technologies in order, one over the other, and determines what type of applications can be built using these technologies. 

By determining the technologies needed, a tech stack diagram also helps identify what resources are needed for application development and the type and level of customizations that can be done. It’s also commonly referred to as a technology infrastructure stack or technology solutions stack. A tech stack diagram is an essential tool for companies that want to build scalable and low-maintenance web applications.

For more complex applications, a modern tech stack diagram is used. This comprises many more software components and deals with larger issues concerning compatibility and availability; it has to consider the number of devices from which the application is accessed and the large volume of events and data resulting from a large number of simultaneous users. 

A modern tech stack may use tools for performance monitoring, event processing, analytics, microservices, business intelligence (BI), and data lakes.

Technology Stack Component Diagram

A technology stack component diagram is similar to a tech stack diagram, but it provides information on all the software components needed to create an application, where each component is used, where technical operations are performed, and provides justification for each component by providing reasons on why they’re essential in solving identified technical challenges.

How to Create a Tech Stack Diagram

Creating a tech stack diagram requires an understanding of a company’s tech stack and how each of them fit together in addressing digital and business needs. This helps provide an overview of how each technology functions individually and as a whole and if digital tools are being used efficiently.

Creating a sensible tech stack diagram means asking yourself the what, the how, and the why, which make up its basic components. 

The What

Begin your tech stack diagram by identifying and evaluating the existing pieces of technology in your company’s tech stack. This will help determine what to include in your diagram, which should feature all systems and platforms owned by a company and their intended purpose. 

If any digital tool is being used for a different purpose than originally intended, the reason behind this deviation should also be presented in detail. The relationship between each technology should be examined to see how they work toward achieving better business outcomes and determine their priority within the tech stack.

The How

Your tech stack diagram should also determine the flow of data between systems because this will decide their order within the diagram. The lines drawn between systems in the diagram should also indicate if data flow is single or bi-directional. 

In today’s business landscape, all businesses are digital—and this entails a network of digital tools that are rarely stand-alone solutions. Regardless of the type of business, most applications rely on others to achieve bigger business goals. 

Understanding how digital tools work together will help a company guide their teams in maximizing use of the tech stack and finding innovative ways to work together. It will also highlight any tech gaps and show what new piece of tech needs to be added.

The Why

A tech stack diagram isn’t created for the for the sake of having one. The reasons behind it should be clearly defined, including the business value it brings tot he table. This is vital because it will determine the final outcome of your diagram. 

Your tech stack diagram should address your business needs and be useful for everyone within the organization. Your purpose in creating your diagram should relate to what you want to achieve, be it a program you want developed or to determine how your tech stack affects overall company culture. 

Ultimately, knowing the “why” will help everyone get the most out of a tech stack diagram.

Tech Stack Diagram Tools

Running a business in the digital age requires innovating quickly and adapting to the call of the times. Using the right technology is a critical part of this equation, and it’s not simply a matter of implementing these tools within the organization. With the plethora of options available today, it can be a challenge to determine which solutions should be part of your tech stack. 

Your basis for selection of needed technologies will depend on how they correspond to employee needs and logistics factors like quick deployment, easy digital adoption, and seamless integration with existing platforms.

Below are the most common tech stack technologies based on business use case.

Business Intelligence (BI) Tech Stack

Data analysis is a big part of business intelligence, and there are tools available that make it simpler. Efficient data analysis ensures that they are transformed into actionable insights that help with strategic decision making. BI tools present data in a more digestible format through visualizations, tables and graphs, helping different users understand the information. 

Common BI tools include the following:

  • Google Analytics
    Google offers a free web analytics tool provides details about website visitors, most visited pages, and how long these visitors stay on specific pages of your website. It also provides information on bounce rates so you can make the necessary modifications on specific pages.
  • Semrush
    Semrush is a tool that’s used for SEO audits of a website, providing vital data like SERP (search engine results page) position, keyword groupings, and social media performance. It also provides insight on the performance of competitor websites and how they boost organic traffic.
  • Qualtrics
    Qualtrics is used by marketing teams to monitor each customer interaction with a product or brand. Using its AI-powered Experience Management (XM) process, it helps identify opportunities in every interaction and highlights areas for improvement in the customer lifecycle.

Project Management Tech Stack

Project management tools aren’t only designed for team leaders and project managers. It can be an effective tool for teams or employees who are looking to organize workflows and find better ways of accomplishing tasks. 

A project management tech stack may include the following tools:

  • Jira
    Jira is a team management platform that helps teams plan tasks in the form of sprints, which refers to a specific time period within which specified tasks should be completed. This allows teams to get a big picture of team performance and provides real-time reports in a visual format to help provide context.
  • G Suite
    This software suite from Google makes use of Google Cloud to connect and store data from popular tools like Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Meet, and more. It also helps manage user data and devices so they can be accessed via web and mobile platforms.
  • Asana
    Asana is a task and project management platform that helps employees visualize team workflows as they move through different stages, helping them monitor progress and see how specific tasks fit into the big picture.

Relationship Management Tech Stack

If you’re looking for meaningful customer engagement and lasting customer relationships, using spreadsheet software isn’t enough. Spreadsheets can help you manage contact lists, but it will hardly suffice as a tool for monitoring interaction with current and potential customers and measuring its impact. Relationship management tools provide the ability to analyze customer data and gather insights that will help boost sales, improve customer retention, and open up opportunities for new products. 

A relationship management tech stack may include the following tools:

  • Marketo
    Marketo is a marketing automation tool that tracks a variety of customer activities and behavior, including webpage visits, event attendance, and opened emails.  
  • Zapier
    Zapier helps automate workflows by creating a set of actions called “zaps” to save time with repetitive actions that are performed using several applications.
  • Buffer
    Buffer is essentially a social media management tool that helps link several channels and accounts to help with content creation and single-click sharing and scheduling of posts.

People Management Tech Stack

As more employees work remotely or in a hybrid setup, both the workplace and workforce of today are very different from what it used to be. This entails an increased reliance on tools that help boost self-governance, promote collaboration, and coordinate the work between different teams within an organization. 

A people management tech stack may include the following tools:

  • BambooHR
    BambooHR is a platform that stores and compiles employee information in a centralized and secure database. It helps with organization of relevant information throughout the employee lifecycle using a single application.
  • ADP
    ADP is a people management platform that makes it easier to manage timesheets, payroll, tax, and benefits using the power of the cloud for secure storage and seamless accessibility.
  • Bridge
    Bridge helps companies keep employees engaged through career development programs, video assessments, and employee-manager 1:1’s all managed within a single easy-to-use online platform.

Creative and Brand Management Tech Stack

Your company’s brand image and reputation is vital because it affects customer perception and sentiment. More importantly, it determines if customers are satisfied enough with your brand to recommend it to others. There are digital tools available that will help you ensure that your brand messaging is consistent with the image you want to portray to your customers.

A creative and brand management tech stack may include the following tools:

  • Adobe Creative Cloud
    The Adobe Creative Cloud platform offers a suite of apps for both desktop and mobile. The applications range from photography and web design apps to video and UX/UI development software.
  • Bynder
    Bynder is a digital asset management platform that provides an easy-to-use portal for a company’s digital assets. It’s an all-in-one solution that helps with the creation, storage, and distribution of brand guidelines and other brand assets.

Frontify is a SaaS offering that helps a company manage its day-to-day marketing and branding efforts. Their intuitive brand portal helps automate tasks, promote collaboration, and boost productivity.

Technology Stack Diagram Example

The typical tech stack diagram is a combination of frontend and backend technologies. One of the most common tech stacks is the MEAN stack, which stands for MongoDB-Express-Angular-Node.js. Another popular stack is a variation of this—the MERN stack. The MERN stack is similar to the MEAN stack but replaces Angular with React, which is becoming a popular component for single-page web applications. The LAMP stack (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP) is also a popular example of a current tech stack.

The three tech stacks mentioned above are commonly used because of their small learning curve and ease of implementation. Generally, tech stacks can be frontend or backend only or a combination of both, commonly referred to as a full stack.

Frontend Tech Stack

The frontend tech stack is common in web applications. Most modern web applications can be based on HTML, CSS, or other Javascript-based frameworks like React and Vue. The frontend technology stack doesn’t include the operating system and server software components.

Backend Tech Stack

This is the server-side tech stack that comprises the server, database, and operating system. Depending on the tools you choose, your backend tech stack can be lightweight and fast or complex and feature-rich.

Full Stack Tech Stack

The combination of both frontend and backend is a common solution for companies and application developers because it’s an all-in-one solution. It provides resources for the UI, application logic, database server, and operating system.

Updated: October 25, 2022

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