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X marks the spot for digital transformation

Tim O'Neill | Aug. 21, 2015
Getting customer experience right is becoming a make-or-break for many businesses. And best-in-class digital transformation must be underpinned by enterprise, business, and IT roadmaps -- that is, by enterprise architecture

Customer Experience

Looking at the Google Trends data below, it's clear that in 2015 digital transformation has hit a sweet spot. Managed by the newest CXO, the Chief Digital Officer or the Chief Transformation Officer, it is seen as the route to the nirvana of a successful customer-focused digital enterprise, able to pivot to meet customer needs immediately (or at least very quickly indeed).

Digital Transformation google trend
Digital Transformation trend. Click on graph to enlarge.

The ideal digital business is calm, responsive, and anticipates what customers want. Lift the hood and you will find these smooth operators rely on a very active and agile digital business strategy (and on their enterprise architecture team -- but more on that later).

An inefficient digital infrastructure and badly planned Customer Experience (CX) can mean millions in lost revenue due to missed sales, customer defection, inefficient supply chains and uninformed strategic decisions.

So can businesses -- particularly those with a large legacy of somewhat cumbersome digital processes -- become a "transformable" agile customer-focused enterprise? And what does a best-in-class digital CX strategy look like?

The backbone of a strong CX function is the team managing the digital infrastructure -- often enterprise architects or IT professionals and their collaborators throughout the company.

This infrastructure is underpinned by an enterprise and IT roadmap that is continually being updated and optimized with new information about market forces, KPIs, costs, requirements and information from partners and suppliers. The team can monitor these systems to ensure they're resilient and to hit business goals.

An effective digital CX strategy does these five things well:

1. Model
First the business needs a collaborative model which draws together data from across the company. Enterprise architects, subject matter experts and executives need to monitor and manage the systems which impact CX and trace them back to the internal IT and business architecture.  This model should be easily updatable from multiple data sources such as CMDBs, ERPs and SharePoint (so it is continually "current") and designed to provide the 'bridge' between the CX metrics and the IT and business systems underpinning them.  Customer journeys can then be traced back to business architectures, business capabilities and continuous business services.

2. Analyze
Enterprises that continually analyze and improve CX improve their performance and achieve operational excellence.

What type of analytics are most useful?

Metrics need to be industry and channel specific, easy to obtain and consistent.  They need to be targeted at the appropriate organizational level.  For front-line staff, response time is important.  For senior executives, brand perception is high on the agenda. (You can find a useful guide to CX metrics here)


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