Are you tactical or strategic?
When you hear that nearly two-thirds (65%) of businesses have named improving the customer experience as the top driver for digital transformation, this should come as no surprise. For some time now, businesses have been realising that price and products are not enough — customers value experiences, and digital transformation is what allows businesses to use their data, update their processes, and ultimately provide customer experiences that inspire loyalty. And the brands that succeed in CX will typically be more successful in other areas, too. According to Adobe’s Digital Trends 2019 report, the best performing organisations in CX are three times more likely than their peers to have exceeded their top business goal by a significant margin.
Sure, most organisations can really get behind the idea of providing positive customer experiences, but, when it comes down to it, deciding where to start can stop momentum in its tracks. Leaders may think, how can we transform when we are bogged down with legacy systems, siloed data sources, unmanaged customer journeys, and reactive, rather than proactive, IT strategies?
Only 14% of IT budgets are considered strategic today, but, within the next five years, that figure is expected to reach 64%. According to our data with 451 Research, businesses are realigning their spending to move beyond tactical and toward strategic spending on digital transformation. Improved integration and data-sharing capabilities across all applications within a business are paramount to the strategic spending that will empower digital transformation. This resonates with our Digital Trends findings as well, which showed that 55% of marketers are prioritising better use of data in 2019.
Partners for the win
Here is where strategic partnerships come in. Businesses proactively shaping their digital futures are investing in expert partners to help them break down silos and create unified customer profiles. This is another major priority area for marketers in 2019, according to Digital Trends, with 42% focusing on improving customer intelligence and insights for a holistic customer view. And they are looking to partners to help them achieve this. Nearly three-quarters (73%) of IT respondents stated that it was very important for strategic partnerships among vendors to create a unified customer profile and improve integration across business applications on intelligent platforms. Not only do partners help build this digital framework, but they are also often the key to gaining full value of the build as they guide businesses to use them in the most valuable ways.
The need to capture and analyse new forms of data is playing a powerful role in improving digital innovation, and no single company can be an expert in all of those areas at once.
Whether or not companies are able to partner with the right experts will create a significant gap between digital leaders and laggards.
Barriers to digital transformation
Although they may embrace the notion to improve CX, many companies continue to struggle to create a broad, all-encompassing strategy. In particular, these companies have difficulties keeping up with customers who move across digital and physical channels. What’s more, 50% of companies say they haven’t yet actively digitised their businesses with a formal strategy. In order to execute upon a formal strategy, organisations must have buy-in from all parts of the business, and that means IT priorities that are aligned with the goal of customer experience optimisation.
Aside from lacking a formal strategy, there are many other barriers to digital transformation: overcoming organisational silos, the complexity of legacy applications, and caution about the security of sensitive data are only a few.
When facing this level of complexity, businesses must rely on partners that are experts in each area, who can plan and execute the integration of applications, digitise workflows, and give a long-term plan to gain digital maturity.
Without the right partnerships, you may unintentionally be building your digital foundation on sand as you move from tactic to tactic chasing the next shiny object, instead of laying a strategic foundation that will scale as your digital maturity grows.
The right partner for the right outcome
When businesses confront the complexity that is digital transformation, they know they don’t want to face it alone. Partners like Adobe + Microsoft are experts in each area that provides exceptional experiences to customers on any channel.
Adobe + Microsoft align and manage data sources to create a unified customer profile, employ artificial intelligence (AI) to manage complex tasks, simplify workflows across silos, and harness a secure and scalable cloud infrastructure to support all business operations.
No matter where you are in your digital transformation, make sure you aren’t travelling alone. With the right partner, digital transformation in all its forms will make doing business easier, more rewarding, and lucrative.
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