In today’s digital economy, companies are competing for customers like never before as price and product are no longer the only drivers of business. The value of delivering an engaging customer experience is on the rise, and businesses are increasingly turning to software and digitized processes to accommodate this trend. In fact, 80 percent of businesses are either planning or formally engaged in digital transformation initiatives to improve their overall customer experience. This puts customer experience at the core of many digital transformation projects, with businesses investing in new digital technologies and processes to more effectively engage customers, partners, or employees. With the goal of putting digital tools to work in a transformative way, organizations can ensure that data and insights connect people with information and processes, ultimately leading to a better experience for customers. According to the 451 Research Voice of the Connected User Landscape, 2H 2017 Digital Transformation survey, several pain points stand out as top drivers of the digital transformation trend:
- 42 percent struggle with managing data growth
- 34 percent need to simplify operations to eliminate manual and paper-based processes
- 30 percent want to reduce customer friction points
Figure 1 illustrates the power of three key advancements in contextual content, prescriptive insight, and intelligent automation which are crucial to meeting the goals of digital transformation to solve for these pain points. As data grows, businesses can harness the power of prescriptive insight to recommend a specific course of action. As businesses strive to eliminate paper-based and manual processes, they will then be able to capitalize on content that is relevant based on the context of the situation. Finally, the demand for reducing customer friction points requires intelligent automation so that businesses are adaptable through the eyes of the customer. However, the key is to leverage all three pieces by making applications more prescriptive to capitalize on the data and the desired business outcomes by providing actionable insight, process efficiency and performance effectiveness. [caption id="attachment_8815" align="alignnone" width="600"] Figure 1[/caption] While the market continues to align around a digital culture, most businesses are still operating with only partially-automated processes: every day, customers still fill out forms manually, restate the obvious on a call, or trudge through redundant data entry. Businesses must operationalize workflows, automate process steps, and digitize content and data, incorporating analytics to ensure efficient operations. Newer digital platforms can turn complicated processes into an experience that intelligently extracts relevant data, then integrates with a wide variety of back-end services to enrich that information—ultimately eliminating customer and company friction points. The data layer is critical for overall process improvements that provide prescriptive action, offering the right insights at the right time, during the right process. In order to begin this digital transformation, however, companies need buy-in from key stakeholders, including IT teams. IT must embrace and adopt more agile business applications that operate in real-time. Over the next five years, we will start to see an inflection point as leaders invest in digital transformation initiatives. And while most have accepted the reality of digital transformation, there is still a long way to go in the market before vision meets reality. Enterprises of all sizes will look for specific business reasons, beyond simple survival, before embarking on the digital transformation journey. This journey starts with technology. As technology becomes increasingly central to how individuals experience the world around them, it also becomes critical to businesses’ strategic value propositions and competitive differentiation. Companies are utilizing technology to cater to and engage with their customers’ preferred methods of consuming information. Organizations can transform their business to best attract, win, retain, and support customers by leveraging the latest digital technologies to deliver a differentiated experience that is not simply a luxury, but a necessity for survival. Conga provides a connected suite of digital transformation solutions, helping organizations to automate their processes and simplify their documents and contracts. Join Conga and 451 for a webinar on August 16, at 11 a.m. EST to learn and understand the importance of being future-ready in a transformative digital economy. Sheryl Kingstone is the Research Vice President, Customer Experience & Commerce General Manager, and Voice of Connected User Landscape for 451 Research. Find her on Twitter: @skingstone.