The case for Convergence of CX and CS workflows in the new Digital Age
Last year, it all started when executives took a step back to examine the impacts of a never seen before Black Swan event, with the onset of Covid-19 Pandemic across the world. Before Covid (B.C.), many companies had not yet seriously considered the existential imperative for digital transformation as they never expected Work-from-Home (WFH), and lockdowns to prevail through many months and quarters to trip repeatedly into FY2021–22 missing one footstep after another. Many well laid plans were left asunder.
The deep realization and profound impacts realized by CxOs and managers alike included:
- Digital transformation is an existential imperative and one which requires a re-think!
- Traditional software companies need to move to cloud, in a transformed way. They need to redefine customer experience and decision making process while supporting their post-pandemic customers.
- Digital businesses started firing on all cylinders (case in point: Zoom & Amazon & every possible online/SaaS service provider); Digital Natives were born for this post-covid age, and could attend to the needs of the new audiences (remote & stuck at home)
“Necessity is the mother of invention”, and every company had to adapt to change, 2020 and beyond → Evolution was inevitable for all classes and sizes of firms in this Hyper-Innovation post-covid era.
What many companies came to realize was that TECH and emerging technologies led to:
a. Winning based on how data-driven, automation-driven, and AI-aware one is as a digital business
( In the 2010s we already knew that 60% of big data & AI projects never go beyond initial pilot as per Gartner, & similarly failure abound for IT automation initiatives in silos)
b. From an enterprise level, key tech challenges for digital businesses are : keeping pace , maintaining product, and growing business based on capability
c. Upskilling: keeping in mind that good talent is scarce, there is a need to retrain and educate employees on new technology in byte-size chunks with short-form video content.
We do know that current approaches are failing and require extensive funding and specialized skills if one continues to operate in silos like before.
Since the focus needs to be on growing our digital business, Strategy, Future-proof Architecture and Growth are key. We are at an intersection of Digital transformation, Cloud computing and Business model innovation at most software & emerging tech companies with varying levels of maturity of processes, digital architecture and velocity of change (digital agility).
The Case for the Convergence of Digital Workflows
i. Every C‑suite leader wants to create great experiences for their employees and their customers
ii. By end 2021, Forrester predicts 75% of dev shops will use low code platforms, citizen developers and employees without software expertise
iii. Customer Service innovation has taken a front seat across various groups/units within a digital business (eg. Improvement budgets, Transformative DX initiatives, Sales, PS, Support, CS & Delivery)
We are now going to see a slight shift in this model supported by the comfort of customer service practitioners with platform-based operations and artificial intelligence following years of use.
iv. Data-based decision making is rising rapidly. Virtually all business (traditional and digital) are investing in data analytics and predictive operational enhancements and are less concerned with cost savings.
v. Cloud and digital platforms (& ecosystems): Large service organizations are still running on-premises for critical functions, but virtually all organizations are being forced to consider cloud-adoption strategies. Smaller and modern organizations have taken to the cloud quite well, showcasing the realities of this transition; expect larger cloud adoption to happen soon.
Now after Covid-19, the *new* Digital transformation is about creating employee and Customer experiences in a rapid, remote and hybrid workforce. Digital businesses need to create frictionless experiences making it easy for employees to get work done and customers to gain delightful self-service.
This requires seamless cross-enterprise digital workflows, linking systems, silos, departments and processes.
Whether you are a technology software company of the traditional type (eg. IBM, SAP, HPE, CISCO, etc.) having a large global footprint and operational silos or a new digital tech company (eg. New comm.: ZOOM, Telebreeze, Nuance, FB for communication, Twitter/Instagram, etc. or New Media & Adtech), the challenges that are commonly faced are in:
- Change management
- Program/Project management
- Customer support
- Incident management / Problem management
- And a softer aspect of team “Culture” collaboration for the future of work
The emerging tech companies in the Industrial IOT, AI, Blockchain, Transportation industry (like the digital natives for driverless tech Uber, Tesla, Waymo, etc.) as well as the ones in Cryptos & Non-fungible Tokens (NFT) need to consider cloud release management & MLOps flows, security digital workflows, social commerce workflows, and “Everything as a Service” — XaaS workflows. Besides that business architecturally, CDO/CIO/COO at companies are looking at Innovation, Collaboration, Driving new initiatives and Product led Growth (PLG). So there is a new level of complexity to handle here with digital natives and emerging tech firms.
The success of our customers and their end-customers are dependent on teams managing CSM, Support (SLAs), Portfolio management, PMO, Application Portfolio Management, Cost reduction and efficiency improvements in the cloud too now. And since we all know that IT Service Management is a big area of improvement too, we now have to tackle DevOps, Data Ops, ML Ops, and eventually AI Ops together in a holistic manner while our employees and partners are remote in operation/interactivity.
Can we have one business systems architecture, one model which makes sense across the board, with one automated way of solving process problems? Let’s consider the possibility of a holistic and convergent approach to the challenges and pain-points faced when CX and CS come together in new digital businesses.