Three DX Trends That Can Reduce Complexity in Customer Experience
My favorite definition of Digital Transformation comes from Current Analysis, where they call it a “way of helping companies reduce the complexity of how they interact with their customers.” For most organizations, reducing complexity in customer experience for both external and internal customers is important—happy customers are loyal; they spend more, more often. Likewise, happy employees are more loyal, produce more, and are more innovative. Digital Transformation might not be so relevant now if not for the major technological changes of the last decade: big data and analytics, social (consumer and enterprise), mobility, and the cloud. But in the last year or two, we’re seeing a wave of technologies that are specifically impacting complexity in customer experience within and outside of organizations.
These current trends are redefining how employees interact with each other or with processes, and even how data and processes interact with other data and processes:
- Internet of Things (IoT)
- Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Internet of Things
While not new, the ubiquity and low cost of sensors and connectivity means that it’s time to include IoT in Digital Transformation plans. And IoT need not be limited to sensors—almost anything has connectivity these days (who would’ve thought that a fridge can tweet?). Frost & Sullivan expects the IoT market in ASEAN to reach US$7.53B by 2020. With nearly 200,000 devices connecting to the Internet every day, businesses will need an effective platform to leverage the Internet of Everything and prepare to offer new experiences that may not even be evident today. The technology is already revolutionizing the supply chain to make processes more self-orchestrated.
Despite every year in the last decade being touted as the “year of AI,” we can see a more realistic application of AI technologies in subtle ways: self-driving cars, cancer-detecting cameras, self-learning chatbots. IDC predicts that Asia Pacific (excluding Japan) will see 40% of the Digital Transformation initiatives being supported by AI capabilities by 2020, providing critical on-time insights for new operating and monetization models. The banking sector, unsurprisingly, has quickly taken advantage of AI, especially in areas where it needs to quickly analyze, understand, and respond to vast amounts of big data and deliver a personalized next-gen customer experience.
When blockchain is mentioned, most people think of banks. To understand why it might be relevant elsewhere, it’s important to understand that in its most basic sense, blockchain is a distributed public ledger. Because it’s public and distributed, it’s ideal to track monetary transactions, enabling non-centralized transfers of money. But that’s not the only thing that needs to be secure. Blockchain can be used to track user authentication, identity management, information integrity—its uses are just being explored, and its relevance to Digital Transformation is only increasing. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is already leveraging the technology to conduct inter-bank payments.
Platforms, not Tools
What makes these trends particularly interesting is that they’re still in their infancy. This means that the full effects and uses are yet to be thought up and understood. The next phase is going to bring us new ways of thinking about and applying these technologies, and for that we must be ready. How? By building platforms rather than fixed solutions. Instead of just investing in an AI tool, we should be investing in a platform that can accept any AI tool and apply it to our Digital Transformation initiatives. Platforms will take a more prominent role because they’ll allow organizations to adapt more quickly—and that means a less intense journey to Digital Transformation.