How to deliver customer focused digital services or be left behind

As most of you know, Intergence are specialists in making IT infrastructure work more efficiently. Over the last two years we have become more and more involved in digital transformation initiatives where there is always a big emphasis on moving as much as possible into the cloud. More often than not, the business case for “what problem are we solving?” gets forgotten about which means that the chances of a successful outcome for a very large investment becomes less certain.

This means that many infrastructure professionals are being put under a lot of pressure to deliver when there are no clear outcomes. At the same time, “going digital” is something that is becoming more and more important for businesses to survive and prosper in the modern economy. This blog aims to share a few facts and also help point the IT professionals towards helping their business leaders to make more informed decisions and get better data from their customers. This ultimately means surviving and prospering in a more competitive world rather than a slow death due to a failure to acknowledge and understand your customers.

Most of us will have heard about the launch of the iPhone X, but the potential implications for banking are still unknown. It is clear that some of the new features suggest that it will transform the mobile experience and features such as Face ID and Apple Pay means that it probably won’t be too long before Apple enters the banking market itself. In the meantime the challenger banks are all trying to offer better services to compete alongside traditional high street banks. All of this means providing a great service to customers who are becoming more fickle in the way they buy services.

Facts & Figures

Here are some more interesting facts: A recent Google survey reported that roughly 80% of under 25’s (often referred to as the Millennials) use their smartphones to shop online and also that according to a recent Consumer Barometer survey 50% suggested that they purchased goods on their smartphone. “Why is that important to me, we are a B2B business?” I hear some of you cry; well my advice is that you and your business will cry if you don’t heed the market trends as many large and successful organisations will die and quickly too, if you do not understand and act on the data which is available. The twenty-somethings combined with technology from the likes of Apple are revolutionising the whole field of commerce and includes traditional industries and of course the public sector too. They will quickly reject your business as “irrelevant” if you cannot clearly demonstrate that you have a compelling proposition.

Those businesses that either refuse to accept the change in buying habits or understand that mobiles and their operation across the infrastructure, will not survive very long in today’s highly competitive market. That is why IT Infrastructure professionals need more than ever to help the business understand their mobile customers better and this is particularly true of the Millennial generation who are increasingly seen as vital to increase market penetration.

There are several key things which need to be considered when building an IT effective infrastructure to support a dynamic and fast changing mobile strategy. These include some of the following

– A “Cloud First” strategy to allow your compute demand to flex quickly and seamlessly

– Create a personalised mobile experience which incorporates Identity Management at the heart of the mobile experience

– Have a world-class Wi-Fi and flexible network. Mobile users won’t stay long if they cannot connect to corporate services or the local shop

– Stay close to your customers by deploying great analytics on your infrastructure. It is this last point that this blog and our webinar will focus on

All too often we find that IT and the business has become “detached” and each views the other with suspicion. Part of the problem is that IT infrastructure estates have evolved into silos of data with different departments. This means that not only is there too much of the wrong types of data, but different managers also have different and often competing agendas. So when something goes wrong it is very often difficult to trace the “root-cause” which leads to lengthy downtime and either loss of revenue to the business or brand damage. This becomes even more of an issue when trying to build a digital transformation strategy with mobile at the forefront of the business. As I mentioned earlier, Millennials have developed a reputation for being pretty ruthless when it comes to discarding businesses which offer a poor service, so it is imperative that IT understands the “voice of the customer”.

The best way to do this in our opinion, is for IT to work closely with the business to embed great analytics within the App and the website. It means treating any consumer of IT as a customer whether internal or external and being able to report on the quality of that service to give a complete end-to-end service view. This means removing the “silos of data” and giving meaningful performance statistics. We are all very much aware of the benefits of embracing a DevOps culture, but without IT infrastructure that performs at an optimal level a digital transformation strategy will undoubtedly fail. In our experience, the key to successful business-led transformations are down to embedding world-class analytics across the entire infrastructure and the IT teams working alongside the business to deliver accurate and insightful performance metrics.