Rapid technology innovation has brought about a situation where digital disruption is the new normal. Once safe, stable, and secure traditional industries are beginning to fully acknowledge the scale, speed, breadth and depth of the impact of digital transformation.
As a result, internal silos are disintegrating as companies become flatter, more collaborative organisations. Tried and tested business models, responsible for decades of corporate growth, are now being reclassified as outdated, while cumbersome “set and forget” infrastructure gives way to new software-based technologies.
The new normal
Today’s new normal is an environment where B2B customers want the B2C experience. They want it personalised, with tailored services delivered where they want, when they want and in the way they want. Customer service has given way to customer experience (CX) – and it is technology that is making that possible.
Australian businesses should consider a more holistic viewpoint on how they can embrace the technologies of the future to deliver advanced CX. The rate of technology development makes it critical for organisations to make clear-cut choices about what solutions should be pursued and prioritised.
A recent report from KPMG found that globally, 61 per cent of organisations that are effectively using digital technologies see higher revenue growth than their competitors. The same study discovered that organisations with the best CX strategies – as rated by Australian consumers – are based overseas and are all heavily dependent on technology.
There is a lack of diversity when it comes to the CX that Australian businesses offer, presenting both a challenge and an opportunity for Australian companies to do more to differentiate themselves.
The most valued pillar for Australians’ CX is personalisation and technologies can accelerate this attribute by reducing time and effort for the customer. Australians ranked Singapore Airlines first for its personalised experience which has been achieved through working with partners to explore fields in data analytics, IoT, virtual and augmented reality, and artificial intelligence (AI).
But these technologies need to be used beyond the point of contact with the customer to really improve their experience. When these technologies are used across the front, middle and back office processes the value of CX becomes clear.
The current, traditional IT infrastructure, which helped build and sustain many businesses and business models is creaking. The big, heavy, expensive and inflexible technology is being swept away by software and hybrid cloud, rapidly displacing the data centre.
The most precious of all gifts
As software replaces hardware, it has returned a precious commodity to the business IT function – time.
By removing the inflexibility and unpredictability from traditional infrastructure, IT departments are now able to divert most of their attention away from operating and maintaining their infrastructure to a focus on providing strategic advice and counsel to the business. Digital enterprise staff are no longer constrained by technology, but empowered.
Cloud and a modern IT environment based on hyperconverged infrastructure provide a less complex, user-friendly environment. It requires less staff, freeing personnel to focus on providing a superior experience for internal customers, innovation and improvement for the business. As software reduces the need for siloed specialists, it enables the era of generalists. The technical knowledge required to operate, maintain and scale general workloads and applications is lowered, breaking through silos and encouraging expansive minds.
Hyperconverged infrastructure is simple, flexible, and scalable making it ideal for responding to the desire of the increasingly sophisticated and demanding customer. All of a sudden, new ideas or services can be developed, piloted and rolled out in days instead of months and spikes or urgent demands can be mitigated or actioned immediately, even by the customer. Meanwhile, automation of the first line service can radically reduce escalation calls.
It gets even more exciting when you add in new technologies like AI and machine learning (ML). Now the system can proactively identify and alert to impending issues, reducing escalation calls further. The automation, analytics, and intelligence change with the customer, matching the customer at every stage and anticipating their every request.
The setting sun
The demand for enterprises to consumerise is accelerating and traditional and inflexible infrastructure is already struggling to keep up with its more responsive, simple and flexible replacement.
It is this new enterprise infrastructure that will drive the future of the digital enterprise. As our dependency on data increases, the ability to connect, access, interpret, manage and amend will become even greater.
And as we embrace even more new ways of doing business, the need for simplicity and flexibility in a complex and cluttered digital world will only increase. Our reliance on simple, secure and flexible technology to accommodate this digital ecosystem of hardware, applications and operating systems will become total.
Get ready for the consumerisation of the enterprise
Customer service has transformed over the past decade, but it will be nothing compared to the CX leap we are about to undertake as proactive and tailored services become the norm.
To accommodate this shift, companies must realign to deliver – and that will begin with re-evaluating and re-designing their current technology and infrastructure to prepare for tomorrow.
By Jamie Humphrey is Managing Director,
Australia and New Zealand for enterprise cloud company Nutanix