Digital Transformation or Not; Get Visibility, Now, Please! (Part 1)


The hybrid enterprise is alive and well—and it’s here to stay

Companies and organizations today drive digital transformation through creating innovative Systems of Engagement (SoE), based upon rethinking how to engage with their target audience(s). Most of the innovative SoE’s are purpose-built to meet key customer demands and are aligned to specific behavioral contexts over a defined engagement timeline: customers discover, explore, buy, use, ask and engage in the digital realm. And it’s well worth it for companies and organizations to know exactly what’s going on, and how, at each turn.

Today, most new business initiatives require digital engagement thinking and transformation. It’s almost a given that these initiatives demand innovative applications, fast networks, as well as agile enterprise architectures, which ultimately form Systems of Engagement—and all of this in a true 24/7 availability setting.

Line of Business and IT executives tend to approach the critical SoE decision-making question: ‘how do we get there from here?’ through a prioritized strategy. SaaS first: ‘we need to move quickly.’ If that doesn’t work then PaaS: ‘we will design & develop ourselves.’ If PaaS is not an option, then IaaS: ‘we will establish the APP/DEVOPS environment to get the job done.’ And, lastly, if IaaS is not available to us then we will insource and build from the ground up.

It’s all about first impressions, really—and lasting ones, too

Here’s the thing; your customers don’t care about SoE’s, SaaS, PaaS and IaaS. They do, however, care—sometimes passionately—about getting the information, the product, the service etc., they want/need—right now!

Rest assured, your customers will judge you on the digital customer experience.

Hence, creating innovative SoE’s is not a technology decision—t’s a business decision. And it’s a critical one given the desired outcomes: increase in satisfied customers, increase in expansion and net/new business, continuous innovation, and reducing operating expenses, among others.

Most of these outcomes, if not all of them, depend on the digital customer experience—and how well you, proactively and preemptively, manage it.

And, have no doubt; your customers will expect you to manage it! So, while your CMO may talk about managing switching cost considerations among disgruntled digital customers, the real equation is simple, and in today’s connected and hybrid world, it executes very quickly: if the customer experience is less than expected and the options in the market place are greater than one, then you are at risk of losing a customer. Your customer will win, and maybe one of your competitors will, too.

So, how are things going?

If the risk of losing customers is real, then exactly what do you know about the customer experience your SoE’s deliver? And, equally important, if the customer experience isn’t up to par, then when do you know about it?

Can you confidently answer the questions below? Or, at the very least: do you know what you don’t know?

1. How critical is the customer experience to you, and who is responsible for it?

2. What is your customer experience management capability and maturity level, what do you need it to be, and when do you need it to get there?

3. How do you prioritize and size customer experience management investments, and who drives linking customer experience management to value?

4. What role do your technology partners currently play in terms of helping you deliver an impeccable customer experience, what role do you need them to play, and starting when?

Forrester Research1 stated that less than a third of companies and organizations have a coherent digital strategy. Nothing to be alarmed about, but it does suggest that there is still work to be done.

    Companies need to have the right tools in place in order to answer these questions, and identify, analyze and solve problems in a diverse, ever changing environment. What does this look like in practice? It’s all about achieving visibility, optimization, and control.

    Want to learn more? Stay tuned for part 2, where I’ll discuss how you can successfully manage the delivery of your SoE customer experience.

    1Forrester Research: The Digital Business Imperative, December 7, 2015

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