Analytics for Action and Impact
We have witnessed an impressive progression in technology capabilities and their application as the market has evolved from its focus on data to information to insights, fueled by analytics. In fact, massive investments have been made to derive more and more targeted insights to allow enterprise leaders to make impressively informed decisions. Yet while so much has been put into deriving the insights, far less has been devoted to the actions taken by decision makers and ultimately the impact to the business. Going from data to information to insight as a technology-enabled process and value proposition has witnessed strong market investment and momentum. Alternatively, from insight to action to impact has been on the contrary. Business technologies addressing next best action, automating the process from insight to action in real-time, and otherwise, questions will start to appear more frequently, challenging the value of spends in big data and analytics.
Predictable and Sustainable DCX
It can be argued that digital customer experience has become the holy grail of any successful enterprise in a digital world. It is the basis for market-leading customer acquisition, customer loyalty, and customer retention. Massive investments and innovations have occurred in the customer mega-process domain for decades, be it salesforce automation, customer relationship management, customer experience, tools, etc. Arguably, not all are intended to directly address the customer experience; oftentimes, more at the process of selling to the customer. Unfortunately for many, a broad brush is often used to still consider these technologies related to the customer or enabling the customer experience. In turn, the question surfaces, have we witnessed a sustainable, predictable, and appreciable difference in the customer experience? Likely, short of the market investments and promotional promises. As we look ahead, a true holistic approach to customer engagement will be critical. This will, in short, require deep examination of the customer journey and all its components, the numerous variables contributing to and affecting the experience, the enabling processes and technologies – both front office and middle office/operations (e.g., supply chain, provisioning, fulfillment, warehousing, distribution, etc.) – necessary to deliver the end to end target experience, and those enterprise governance, behaviors, and organizational improvements to execute, reinforce, and monitor the “to be” state and outcomes. Similarly, the “last mile” of the customer experience, which is where the final hinge moment of a successful customer experience occurs, will need to gain further prominence in the design and realization of the intended customer experience. This is where the human element often remains and customer satisfaction is ensured and validated. Yet, oftentimes receives modest attention or improvement discipline. No question that aggressive pursuit and funding of a formidable DCX agenda should remain, however further investment in digital business technologies will be under extreme scrutiny unless the customer experience sees a marked improvement, both predictable and sustainable. The investment needs to be directed toward the whole of the customer experience, the 360-degree view, and the end-to-end value chain; not solely or even mostly the enabling technologies. Only this holistic approach gives a realistic opportunity to design, build and deliver predictable and sustainable DCX.