No one notices when IT runs smoothly and as it should do, only when it breaks. That’s the curse of the modern CIOs job. They have one of the biggest roles in enabling the innovation their company needs to become a leader in digital CX. To make progress, they need to introduce new communications technology, implement IT projects that increase automation and find ways to cut costs. But, they are expected to move fast, with minimal risk and within a budget-constrained environment.
2019 CIO Research Report - IT is feeling the pressure to innovate and deliver
We recently conducted a research project with a number of enterprise CIOs and published the findings in our 2019 CIO Research Report. The research helped us to understand their challenges, drivers and how they plan to deliver more when it comes to CX.
The first thing that’s evident is that CIOs understand the key role they play in their business's CX success. IT is no longer perceived as a support function, but a key enabler of the digital business. An astonishing 98% of respondents reported that they feel pressure from the C-suite to deliver the IT programmes that enable the same level of innovation that companies like Amazon are delivering.
The problem is that the banks, retailers and other organisations that these CIOs work for are all playing catch up. The majority admitted to struggling with integrating new channels with legacy systems and having data spread across the business. They acknowledged that this led to inconsistent or broken CX, that included difficulty in automating communications. The challenge was so prevalent that 82% feared that the inability to automate end-to-end customer journeys will lead their organisation to fall behind competitors. Other shared challenges included not enough business agility, budget constraints and ensuring customer communications remain compliant.
With so many challenges to overcome, as well as having the pressure of managing resources, costs and troubleshooting, how can CIOs deliver CX innovation and enable the digital business?
How IT innovation can make a bigger impact on CX
CIOs have a unique position in the C-suite where their customers are the different business units across the organisation. Their role used to be ‘‘support focused’, where it was about ‘keeping the lights on’, but now it’s a business-led position where technology is an enabler and direct contributor to the bottom line.
It's now their responsibility to take the lead in their business’s strategy. They need to design the agile processes, implement new platforms and define the solutions that will increase ITs impact on delivering an innovative experience at pace and within a cost-effective framework.
Just as many of the tools that business units across the organisation use have moved into the cloud, such as CRM, contact centre and Martech. CIO’s can take the same cloud platform approach to overcome many of the IT and business challenges they face in terms of digital customer communications service delivery. They can use a cloud communications platform with enterprise-grade controls to create a competence we refer to as an ‘Enterprise Customer Communications Hub’.
The Hub acts as a centralised platform that contains all the low-code tools, integrations, channels and controls, that are needed to deliver rapid CX automation at scale. Confirming the value of such an approach, almost half of the CIOs surveyed had or were intending to create such a platform for their technology stack.
For those that have just discovered the concept, here are four ways an Enterprise Customer Communications Hub can help IT to better enable the business to deliver innovative CX:
- Instant channel innovation
Many cloud communications platforms include out of the box connectivity and integrations with mobile carriers, aggregators and a single integration layer for new channels such as Apple Business Chat, RCS and WhatsApp Business. This provides businesses with the ability to ‘plug in’ new channels as they become available to provide richer, more interactive experiences. On top of this, CIOs can shift the responsibility of keeping up with the latest channel API updates to the platform provider.
- Enable data to flow across the business
An Enterprise Customer Communications Hub acts as the glue between business systems and communications channels, providing flexible inbound and outbound integrations over existing interfaces and technologies. This will allow data to flow across the business, meaning companies don’t need to spend much time and money re-engineering or ‘ripping and replacing’ existing systems. To start with, they can act tactically by configuring only those integrations that are required for specific customer journeys as opposed to undertaking costly IT integration projects.
With the Hub providing complete visibility and control over customer data with consent management controls, CIO’s can help the business reduce the risk of incurring financial penalties as new regulations (e.g. GDPR, PSD2) are introduced.
- Transforming development to increase business agility
When CIOs are assessing which cloud platform should act as the foundation of their Enterprise Customer Communication Hub, they must invest in one that helps their business to innovate quicker. Low-code development tools, with visual composition and ‘drag and drop’ functionality is a must-have. These tools will enable developers and other business users to automate and optimise customer journeys in real-time. This will considerably increase business agility as new customer communications flows or services, with the desired business logic, can be launched in a matter of days.
- Simplified management that assures compliance and a consistent experience
The Enterprise Customer Communications Hub approach offers a single point of enterprise command and control. Containing real-time dashboards, analytics and reporting, and enterprise-grade controls, companies can ensure they can deliver a compliant and consistent CX across all communications channels. This central approach makes orchestrating customer communications with backend systems much easier, enabling proactive and triggered one-way and two-way communications to be delivered across multiple digital channels.
Take the next step with your Enterprise Customer Communications Hub
IMIconnect is our enterprise communications platform as a service (CPaaS) technology that acts as the enabling platform for creating an Enterprise Communications Hub. To see how it's being used by one of the world’s leading delivery companies to transform customer communications, download the Hermes Customer Success Story.
When you're ready to see the platform in action for yourself, book an introductory call to arrange a demo.