By Arvind Purushothaman
In a crucial era for technological growth and development, organizations face the inevitable challenge of digitization. This is a concept that weighs on the minds of business leaders—everybody is involved, or is at least thinking about it.
For some, the global transformation into a digitized sphere is a necessary response to competition from established players and nimble startup companies. For others, digitization is an integral part of their overall business strategy that has permeated the thinking across all levels of the organization. Regardless of the motivation for digitization companies, too often, organizations look at this exercise from a technology perspective. And there are so many technologies evolving rapidly. These include advanced data management and analytics, the Internet of Things, robotic process automation, customer experience, mobility, cloud, and DevOps—all of which can play a critical role with digitization.
While technology is critical for digitization, it is important to understand how this helps the end-customer. The success of this initiative lies with customer adoption.
A three-step process assists with making these choices, including putting the customer first, identifying proper business processes and related components for improved agility and automation, and keeping customers interested by continuously providing value-added services.
Put the Customer First
The best way to develop an effective digital strategy is by beginning with the end-consumer in mind and working inwards. Consider someone traveling internationally and using a credit card. It might make perfect sense for that person’s bank to provide customized information in real time that in turn promotes related services, resulting in additional revenue. From a technology standpoint, the key is personalization and availability of relevant data in real time. To bring this vision to reality, the organization should invest in data infrastructure that enables large volumes of real-time data ingestion and analytics. Leveraging a cloud infrastructure also plays an important role.
Identifying Proper Business Processes
The next step is to review all processes that have touch points with the customer. You can have a slick user interface but without personalization, the experience accounts for very little. How can businesses with multiple contexts capture the important information for each individual customer? This is where automation and machine learning come into play. Automating business processes and adding a customer-specific contextual element significantly enhances the customer experience.
A lot of this information exists independently. Therefore, the best solution is to identify the various technology enablers in relation to a business process with the end goal being to expedite and automate the process to the greatest possible extent. Once this is done and the details of each process are known, all the different applications, databases, and related infrastructure need to be identified. A study of these findings may suggest moving to a more agile infrastructure and leveraging a quicker release methodology.
Keeping the Customer Interested
In addition to providing a superior customer experience and automating the process, it is imperative to provide value-added services the customer has not experienced in the past. In the case of a customer paying his electricity bill using a newly-developed mobile interface, for example, it would prove beneficial to him to comprehend an optimum time to use high-energy consuming devices. This is best enabled by embedding sensors in the devices. New, value-added features should also be introduced frequently to keep the customer interested.
Engage in Digitization
If fully engaged, digitization is a fantastic journey for a company in terms of developing and executing a business model designed to achieve success. With multiple technology offerings in place today, there is no shortage of options available to mold a prime digital strategy that produces meaningful and measurable results that delight the customer. SW
Arvind Purushothaman, practice head/senior director, information management and analytics, Virtusa, has more than 19 years of industry experience with a focus on planning and executing data management and analytics initiatives.
Feb2016, Software Magazine