Today's empowered customers expect and demand easy, effective and fast experiences from brands. In fact, research from PwC reveals that 42% of consumers would be willing to pay more for a friendly, welcoming experience while 52% would pay more for a speedy and efficient experience.
IT leaders and CIOs often ask "What does this have to do with me and my responsibilities?" CIOs and their IT organizations play a critical role in making their enterprises customer-obsessed as it isn't just focused on customer experience with front-office applications but also about improving the efficiencies and experience of your organization's back-office applications.
Customers are also increasingly looking at a brand's experience as a differentiator as they tend to purchase experiences, not products. Because of this, the line between front-office and back-office applications is disappearing. Customer-obsessed enterprises are leveraging digital technologies to create new customer value and increase operational agility in the service of customers. As CIOs create their technology agendas (in support of their organization's business objectives), they need to take a more proactive approach to investing in technologies for competitive differentiation. These technologies should be able to bring similar experiences to customers as well as employees which can increase ROI and decrease TCO.
Out of the many technologies that are fueling new forms of business disruption, the maturity and evolution across the following areas provide CIOs the capabilities to create compelling experiences and generate operational gains:
- Hosted Cloud Infrastructure to Native: Flexible and modern cloud architectures built on containerized micro-services architecture will be able to provision machine learning compute speed faster than legacy-hosted cloud infrastructure. They are able to provide a framework to evolve with the changing behavior of the user that keeps evolving while lowering the operational cost to run these systems. The new cloud infrastructure provides the flexibility and agility of iterative change in this new age of IT.
- Chatbots to Conversational AI: Conversational interfaces are becoming the new definition of self-service and personalized experience. This represents an experience which is injected at the point of entry either for your customer or employee engaging or for interacting with a system. Here, you will start to seeing chatbots moving from manual rule-based systems to decision-making systems that are evolving with each interaction [supervised to unsupervised learning]. The true differentiator will be choosing a tool that is easy to use and maintain and built without admin intervention. Conversational interfaces will add more value by increasing CSAT and NPS scores.
- RPA to Autonomics: RPA was traditionally used to automate specific tasks, especially business processes whereas the evolution for IT around this is going to be with autonomics. Autonomics are being designed specifically for IT-related functions and processes in the areas of server, network and application management, database administration, virtual machine provisioning and diagnostics. These systems have the ability to learn new capabilities and respond to new conditions and reduce man hours required to answer repetitive requests
By investing in these technologies and building capabilities that can support their businesses, CIOs are able to show a strong and positive ROI by directly impacting the brand experience and reducing operational overhead while serving both external and internal audiences.