In my last Ecosystm Insight, I spoke about the 5 strategies that leading CX leaders follow to stay ahead of the curve. Data is at the core of these CX strategies. But a customer data breach can have an enormous financial and reputational impact on a brand.
Here are 12 essential steps to effective governance that will help you unlock the power of customer data.
- Understand data protection laws and regulations
- Create a data governance framework
- Establish data privacy and security policies
- Implement data minimisation
- Ensure data accuracy
- Obtain explicit consent
- Mask, anonymise and pseudonymise data
- Implement strong access controls
- Train employees
- Conduct risk assessments and audits
- Develop a data breach response plan
- Monitor and review
Read on to find out more.
Download ‘A 12-Step Plan for Governance of Customer Data’ as a PDF
In her earlier Ecosystm Insight Melanie Disse spoke about how to measure customer experience (CX) success through an effective Voice of Customer (VoC) program.
In this Ecosystm byte, Melanie talks about why every VoC program needs to have an Insight to Action framework at its core, to detect and drive continuous improvement opportunities and positively impact organisations’ bottom line.
Read on to find out more about the “Listen – Analyse – Act” VoC Insights to Action framework. Each phase of the framework has its own challenges, and the success of the entire framework depends on the quality of each phase.
Download 3-Phases-from-VoC-Insights-to-Action as a PDF
Customer experience (CX) is an integral part of a brand today – and excellence in CX is a moving target (think how tools such as ChatGPT can revolutionise communications and CX). Organisations will find themselves aiming for personalised CX across channels of preference, with convenience, empathy, and speed at the core.
Here are the top 5 trends for the Experience Economy for 2023 according to Ecosystm analysts Audrey William, Melanie Disse, and Tim Sheedy.
- Organisations Will Focus on Building a “One CX Workforce”
- AI Will Lead Voice of Customer Programs
- Metadata Will Become Important
- The Conversational AI Market Will Mature
- Organisations Will Go Back to Focusing on Web Experience
Read on for more details.
Download Ecosystm Predicts: The Top 5 Trends for the Experience Economy in 2023 as a PDF
Organisations in Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) are focusing their digital transformation efforts on continued innovation in the experiences they deliver to their customers and employees.
Innovation has been at the core of organisations’ survival strategies – now it will be the means to gain competitive advantage and is getting prioritised over resiliency, business continuity and compliance.
Here are 5 insights on where ANZ organisations are headed in the tech priorities and investments, based on the findings of the Ecosystm Digital Enterprise Study, 2022.
- Tech Teams in ANZ are restructuring after a two-year struggle and as they face skills shortage.
- Tech investments are focusing on experience and digital workplace and customer experience technologies are seeing continued growth.
- Hybrid cloud investments are focused on augmenting existing infrastructure – whether public or on-prem
- Sales & Marketing are leveraging data & AI solutions the most; IT Ops and SecOps will see un uptick in 2023
- Cybersecurity practices are not evolving fast enough with only 9% of organisations having implemented Zero Trust
More insights into the ANZ tech market below.
Click here to download The Future of the Digital Enterprise – Australia & New Zealand as a PDF
The last few months have been full of bad news for some of the organisations currently recognised as the most innovative firms on the planet. Netflix has been losing subscribers, Amazon’s revenue growth is slowing dramatically, and Tesla now has serious competition in the EV market, with its dominance beginning to wane. In Australia – my home country – some of the “fintech” banks have closed their virtual doors over the past six months, leaving the market to the traditional players.
And many of the traditional businesses are turning themselves around. Foxtel, the “legacy” cable TV provider in Australia, has grown its subscriber base by 19% off the back of its streaming services – where subscriber numbers are growing at over 60% YoY. ComfortDelgro – a transport provider based out of Singapore – is seeing its revenue start to increase again after being hit hard by digital competitors and the pandemic. CBA’s “Ceba” virtual assistant is winning plaudits in Australia and globally.
It’s Not Too Late to Catch-up!
In many respects, the fact that the digital disruptors got SO far ahead is an indication of just how slow the rest of the market was to respond, and a credit to the significant investments these innovators made to get ahead. But now that the rest of the market is catching up shows that there is no secret sauce when it comes to innovation. What Uber, Tesla, Amazon and every other digital innovator has done is replicable. Your business just needs to make the necessary changes to give you the ability to catch up to the digital innovators in your industry – do it well and you will even keep up with them or get ahead. And innovation is the leading business priority for most organisations today!
What all of the digital disruptors did fifteen years ago, and many other businesses have done since then, is develop the ability to create and improve digital customer experiences at pace. Nearly every customer experience is digital – at least in part. So creating great digital experiences will go a long way to creating great customer experiences. Sounds easy right?
However, what this actually means is they changed their culture, structure, KPIs, technology, skills and the nature of their business. Many organisations have beaten the path to becoming digital businesses – in fact, it is a well-worn path. When you set off on the journey you are no longer taking risks or heading out alone. There is a very clear playbook as to how to become a digital business today.
What Does a Digital Business Look Like?
If you are part of your organisation’s tech team and wondering how digital your business is, ask these questions:
- Do you mainly deploy new technology services with the Waterfall project methodology?
- Do all of the development work with the IT team (and not in business or customer teams)?
- Does it take months or years to deploy new services?
- Are your KPIs the same as they were 5-10 years ago?
If the answer to some or all of these questions is YES, then it is likely that you are working for a business that will not catch up with or get ahead of your competitors. You might have a few initiatives that see you make some ground on them – but innovation today is not about leaps and bounds – it is about continual improvement. If you catch up today but don’t have the ability to continually improve, you will have fallen behind again tomorrow…
The good news is it is never too late to start this journey. It typically starts from the top of your business – the CIO cannot make the entire business agile. The head of the digital cannot change the culture of the entire organisation. But the IT and digital teams can get the ball rolling by changing their structure and work processes. Start by moving some developers into the Customer Experience team (if you have one!). Stop funding projects and start funding squads, tribes and teams. Structure the team around the customer journey – or at least make it easier for customers to get value from the digital assets and services you offer. Hopefully, someone will notice the fact that the tech team is helping a business unit or team to operate with agility and they’ll start asking why they cannot have that same ability?
And by then the ball is rolling down the hill and you are on your way to being a digital business – and on your way to giving customers the products, services and experiences they demand today and tomorrow.
In comparison to the golden days of the second half of the 20th century, the last two decades have been hard hit. The fragility of globalisation and that prosperous economic model so beautifully enabled by a 70-year technology revolution, have tested business continuity and disaster recovery plans like never before.
During this time the global community has lurched through tech and property driven financial crisis. It has endured endemic terrorism, and a crippling pandemic. And it has been fragmented by the existential threats of energy and climate, world order dislocation, and challenges to once unshakable fiat money. The wonderfully efficient business models and supply chains enabled by W. Edwards Deming following World War II are fractured and broken. Despite all these challenges, the desire for a hopeful return to a golden age of global prosperity is clearly evident. Just maybe not as we know it.
The period between W. Edwards Deming and Dotcom (let’s say 1950-2000) ushered in ERP and the modern software revolution. Over decades, highly refined processes and perfected workflows shifted from paper and clipboards into mainframe environments – from conveyor belts to computing and from ledgers to LANs.
In the progression to slightly less monolithic server-based business applications, millions of lines of customised code are transferred into configurable data fields, coupled with ready-made workflow connections, and processes based on standards set by leading companies and their representative bodies. The standardisation of business systems lowered the entry point for new enterprises, spawned new industries, and ultimately allowed SaaS to proliferate.
ERP was a true revolution in automating process and quality management systems and building the modern world. Cloud was then a transformation for ERP. It was an innovation on an original idea, but it wasn’t the next revolution. In many ways, by standardising business systems, we went too far. The vendor market over-estimated what configuration over customisation could achieve and ultimately set unachievable expectations in relation to client outcomes. On the client side, end-user organisations seized on vanilla processes and workflows and got lazy about working out solutions to their own problems. In chasing out-of-the-box software they sought to expedite, and even outsource, the hard work. In doing so, the core driver of 20th century post war economic prosperity was forgotten.
In business transformations there are no short cuts to results
One of the defining social drivers of the 21st century is a move towards the concept of individualism. We see it everywhere. In the transformation of traditional marriage, family, and identity structures. In the migration away from the concept of houses and homes, in the rise of the gig economy, and even in the regulatory schemes of government, financial and insurance services. The individual sits at the centre of new globalisation economic design and is giving rise to the next business systems revolution. At ServiceNow Knowledge 2022 I was fortunate to hear Dr Catriona Wallace and the Hon Victor Dominello MP discuss it in the context of their recent research. Dr Wallace described the trend as, “know me and care about me”, and discussed the requirements to operate within a world of both hyper-personalisation and ethical restraint.
This time however the business systems revolution to support this change is not being driven by process efficiencies and quality management, though they remain important tools. It is being driven by the pursuit of Experiential Excellence. You’ve heard it many times before and once you’ve seen it you can’t unsee it – Customer Experience, Employee Experience, Digital Experience. These are all ambitions of populist organisational and service transformation agendas with Experiential Excellence at their core.
For business and technology leaders it requires a mental shift. Traditional ERP alone will not get us there. It means a new business systems methodology is required to accompany, and reflect the challenges of the modern world, not one created more than 70 years ago.
An Experiential Excellence platform isn’t just a new ERP. It’s a new type of system capable of operating at speed and with breakthrough power; but it is also capable of breaking the intellectual shackles of pre-configuration to help organisations recapture the essence of what Deming started so long ago and we somehow lost along the way: The ability to think about and solve any kind of complex, innovative and multi-objective, multi-stakeholder problem. And I think that ServiceNow, and the Now Platform, is the first company (and business system) to do it.
The sense of something special was clearly evident among ServiceNow staff and partners, at the event. But I don’t think they have yet nailed the messaging. And the reason is because there is still such a strong gravitational pull towards the old ERP model among end-user clients. This reinforces a need for ServiceNow to still define itself by the last 50 years of system technology rather than the next 50.
That needs to change. So, next time when a client asks, is ServiceNow an ERP or is it an RPA platform or something else, the answer is – it is neither, and both, and all, and sometimes at the same time. This wonderful superposition, the same quantum computing characteristic that allows a particle to be one thing, or either, or both, all at the same time, is the very essence of their opportunity – should they wish to take it.
To be a leader in the new quantum age of computing will mean taking the brave step of unshackling themselves from the 20th century view of ERP and lead the redefinition of business systems for the quantum age. Let the revolution begin.
It is an incredible time of change for the city and regional governments where every strategic activity – especially in these globally challenging times – presents a significant opportunity for transformation. To continue to meet the changing needs of the communities they serve, every modern city government’s technology story is a work in progress. While this is the mantra for successful continuous improvement it also describes the best strategic approach for how municipalities should manage their corporate application replacement programs.
Unfortunately, significant systems upgrade and replacement programs are regularly approached as complex, multi-tasking activities that have a hard start, a defined program, and a date-stamped end. In taking this traditional project implementation approach, intuitively, many organisations believe that doing as much as possible, in as quick a time as possible, ultimately helps to achieve twice as much within the same time. The result is more likely to be half as much, and at lower levels of quality and enjoyment for all involved. This manifests as project scope creep and budget overruns.
Aside from these big bang approaches, thanks to large implementation costs and stringent regulatory oversight, local governments are also forced to think upfront about the potential future value created by a significant core system technology change. The pressure of moving at high speed, and with a dominant technology focus, can obscure both the true organisational cost and ultimate value of the program. This mentality prevails even when it is acknowledged that activities associated with a transformation program will eventually usher in a period of significant change – that is not limited to the changing core corporate applications environment itself.
The 4-Part ERP Transformation Trap is All Too Common in City Government
An over-reliance on technology to deliver business transformation outcomes. Local governments everywhere continue to pursue strategic plans that are either wholly defined or implicitly reliant on world-class customer experience (CX), employee experience (EX), and digital transformation (DX) capabilities. Despite these being business-oriented strategies, organisations then pursue an over-reliance on technology – usually winner-take-all ERP led procurements – to achieve them.
Choosing an industry solution focused on the wrong business model. The chance of achieving these digital transformation outcomes is further obscured when the customer is not central to the data model. The core corporate application technology underpinning the sector’s leading ERP programs is largely based on a property-centric model – where the customer is a subordinate attribute of a property, and the property asset defines the business process and individual. It is a challenge for any council to deliver contemporary customer-first digital transformation with a property-centric approach. To realise customer and employee-centric outcomes, councils must therefore rethink their project’s business methodology and ask themselves, “what is our primary focus here?”. This is never more important than when replacing legacy systems.
Inability to realise that a winner-take-all ERP solution is not an architectural choice. ERP is important but it is not everything. The traditional council ERP is just one important part of an overall capability that allows authorities to longitudinally manage the impacts and opportunities of change across their organisation, communities, and stakeholder ecosystems. Having chosen a sector specific ERP solution, city governments realise too late that no single technology vendor has a best-of-breed solution to achieve the desired DX outcomes. That requires a more sophisticated architectural approach.
Failure to acknowledge there is no finish line to transformation. Like many worthwhile activities, the prize in DX is in the journey, not in the cup. While there can be an end to “project scope”, there should be no “end point” for an ERP transformation program. Only once these challenges are acknowledged and accepted, can transformation be assimilated into the organisation to ensure the council is technically capable of delivering the implicit outcome for the organisation. This could simply be defined as ‘a contemporary business approach to managing the money, the assets, the community, the customers, and the staff of regional government.’
A Better Way: Re-Architecting for Project Success
Where opportunities to meet increasing CX and EX demands arise, especially through ERP and corporate application renewal programs, successful projects in contemporary councils require a service-oriented architecture not found in contemporary or legacy ERP systems alone.
Beyond the property-centric challenges already outlined, even contemporary systems and suppliers can be among the least flexible to the changing data management requirements of many organisations which call for significantly more robust data, integration and application friendly infrastructure management environments.
Customer centricity, data management, integration and software infrastructure capabilities must take precedent over an aging view of single-vendor dominance in the city government sector, especially in middle- and back-office functions, which are typically void of true differentiation opportunities and prone to confining organisations to technology-led and locked projects.
Rather than tendering for a single software provider or platform, contemporary city governments must ditch the old approach to procuring a winning ERP vendor and take steps to establish the following Big 5 platform capabilities (Figure 1). And then foster the contemporary workforce to support them.
For several decades now many organisations have attempted to short-circuit the city government ERP challenge. Fundamentally, technology transformation is not possible without technology change. A non-negotiable part of that change is a shift away from the psychology of brand-based procurement towards a new architectural approach which, like all businesses, is adaptable to change over a long period of time.
COVID-19 has been a major disruption for people-intensive industries and the BPO sector is no exception. However, some of the forward-looking BPO organisations are using this disruption as an opportunity to re-evaluate how they do business and how they can make themselves resilient and future-proof. In many of these conversations, technology and process reengineering are emerging as the two common themes in their journey to transform into a New Age BPO provider.
In 2022 BPO providers will focus on mitigating their key challenges around handling client expectations, better people management and investing in the right technologies for their own transformation journeys.
Read on to find out what Ecosystm Advisors Audrey William and Venu Reddy think will be the key trends for the New Age BPO in 2022.
Click here to download Ecosystm Predicts: The Top 5 Trends for the New Age BPO in 2022 as PDF
Since early 2020 nearly all organisations have strengthened their online presence and commerce abilities – irrespective of their industry. They have come to terms with the fact that the ability to win and retain customers, is largely linked to the digital customer experience (CX) they are able to deliver.
They have invested heavily in their CX roadmaps and technologies; but will find themselves solving for the same challenges they have faced the last 2 years – continued growth of digital experiences; gaining insights from customer data; customer churn; and catering to customer channel preferences.
2022 will be the time to consolidate and build the capabilities required to analyse the immense amount of customer data that they have access to – to finally be able to offer personalised customer experience.
Read on to find out what Ecosystm Advisors Audrey William and Tim Sheedy think will be the leading CX trends in 2022.
Click here to download Ecosystm Predicts: The Top 5 Trends for Customer Experience in 2022 as a PDF