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Ranganath Sadasiva
Director, Enterprise Research,
IDC India

The Era of Becoming Digitally Native through Enhanced Customer Experiences

The Indian landscape for Digital Transformation – DX in organizations is becoming mainstream across IT. IDC estimates that nearly 100 percent of all IT spends by organizations in the next 5 years will be toward digitally transforming their organizations.

The value of a DX platform is that, it delivers a future technology architecture that accelerates DX initiatives for the enterprise and, in parallel, enables organizations to deliver externally facing digital products, services, and experiences while modernizing the internal IT environment toward an intelligent core.

In today’s mercurial business environments and growing competition, the need to re-architect for scale using DX transformation and to reach an end state of becoming digitally transformed or digitally native is mandatory. This digital transformation journey is extensively focused on customers and it is important to deliver an ecosystem that connects all stakeholders including partners and suppliers.

As the DX journey of organizations progresses, there is a great deal of focus to improve the customer experience (CX). CXCX is the customers’ perception and emotional response to the sum of interactions and engagement with the company.

The importance of delivering CX is paramount in any digital transformation journey. Various digital enterprise areas are brought to focus during the DX journey. CX is one of the most important areas to build capability and capacity. In the Indian context, the capability and capacity spend on CX modules can be at least 10–12 percent of overall digital transformation investments.

Technology is transforming how companies and customers view each other. Improving the CX includes absorption of new technologies and services that help companies understand their customers better, investing in customer intelligence and analytics solutions, creating experience platforms, using Artificial Intelligence and delivery mechanisms like cloud and SaaS.

Most global companies and industries have seen the value in investing toward CX resulting in customer satisfaction, customer retention, and customer loyalty. This value has transferred to an improved bottom line and strengthened the financial picture of companies that provide a differentiated experience. Retail, consumer, financial, media, and entertainment segments have been very keen to ensure that CX is given prime focus.

In India, every three out of four organizations do not have a unified, consolidated view of the customer which inhibits them from providing an ideal CX. Perceiving the need, companies that are investing in improving the CX are also investing in developing a customer-centric strategy, changing the corporate culture to be customer inclusive and training employees on CX.

With the adoption of technology and processes, organizations can change. Worldwide, the entertainment company, Netflix is a great example of how organizations can be transformed to be greatly successful with focus on CX.

CX needs innovative technology, nevertheless processes and people are quintessential to advocate the same. The ownership of delivering CX starts with marketing in an organization. The extent to which marketers use new technology and data to deliver value over and above competitive products and services will determine which brands dominate in a customer-centric world. With privacy laws becoming stringent, the efforts to deliver CX will go through a reformatory phase.

Customers interact with organizations across various departments, hence CX demands customer knowledge to be available horizontally and updated on a continual basis. In this changing paradigm, marketers will become proactive caretakers of customer data, leading the delivery of value to customers. Leveraging the information about people, targeting and timing their messaging is a big opportunity for marketers to harvest and propagate value of CX. True differentiation will come when marketing delivers their cumulative customer knowledge, thus expanding the value.

In all dramatic shifts underway within today’s IT organizations, the most significant one is customer centricity and CX. This sharpening focus on the customer’s experience by organizations and the extensive usage of IT technology can elevate and enhance organizational change in reshaping the competitive landscape for businesses today. In the future, more companies will identify themselves as technology-driven providers who would  sell insurance, fly airplanes, or deliver packages. The near future is already evident and emerging in the rising use of mobile video in customer service, IoT capabilities (i.e., connected cars, smart home appliances), real-time customer relationship management (CRM) systems, and big data/predictive analytics. All of these are changing customer expectations and underscoring the vital, expanding role of IT in business success.

Ensuring DX becomes mainstream, driving focus on CX, adopting technology for customer centricity, aligning processes and people, and most importantly adding velocity in execution of CX and DX transformation roadmaps will be my recommendation.

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