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By Orediretse Molebaloa, Regional Sales Engineering Manager at Infobip – Africa
Over the past two years, Chief Information Officers (CIOs) and senior IT executives have largely focused their efforts on digital transformation. This is mostly because COVID-19 forced organisations to expedite planned and unplanned re-engineering of their IT environments to fulfil the digital marketplace’s ever-increasing demand. While the top issues for IT departments have traditionally been (and continue to be) digital transformation, cybersecurity, data compliance, and cloud migration, customer experience has also become a top priority. This highlights the necessity to maintain a customer-centric mindset during digital transformation efforts, to increase customer retention, encourage repeat business, and grow revenue.
Customer-centric digital transformation projects can increase digital maturity and deliver more value. Improving customer satisfaction and product quality are all benefits of digital pivots. By leveraging these and integrating them for insights and contextual actions, organisations can put their customer experience at the forefront.
Here are some of the key trends CIOs faced in 2021 during their customer-centric digital transformation journeys:
Trying to Achieve Digital Transformation Success
One approach to achieving success in customer-centric digital transformation is to clearly define objectives and priorities that are related to measurable business and customer outcomes. Attracting the right individuals and leaders with strong digital and analytical skills is crucial. Investing in essential tools and infrastructure (such as the financing of digital acceleration) is also critical, which is why organisations' expenditure continues to rise.
Work From Home (WFH) network security
Despite the benefits of remote work, such as decreased exposure to COVID-19, an increased sense of work-life balance, alongside the opportunity to work in leisure wear, home networks have left businesses more vulnerable to hackers. As a result, companies have needed to ensure that the most stringent and high-quality network security solutions are in place.
Balancing WFH and hybrid work
Businesses need to determine the right course of funding for the correct or appropriate assets to support remote working and hybrid workforces. Furthermore, they need to consider how many employees can work from home at a time, while also ensuring employees are aware of and have agreed to abide by remote working security policies.
Organisations need to keep in mind that the digital transformation journey does not belong to a single person or department; it is the result of several contributions from various departments such as Research & Development (R&D), Product Management, Engineering, and so on. They are often geographically dispersed, and the approach must consider market trends in each location, as well as putting customers at the forefront of the transformation. It therefore takes a balance of technology and talent to achieve a true and successful customer-centric digital transformation.
While organisations propel their digital transformation efforts, it is essential that customers are kept at the centre of this transformation, as businesses ultimately need to be where their customers are to ensure that their needs are met. In response to the pandemic, customers have moved many activities that they would have done in-person to an online environment. The demand for new digital products and services surged as a result of this shift in behaviour, and this trend is expected to continue. The key to success in 2021 and beyond is to thus invest in digital, customer-facing technology.