Digital Transformation & the Direction it is Headed
Written by Robert Bredlau with e-Spirit.
Forrester Research analyst Ted Schadler recently asserted that digital customer experience platforms (DXPs) – packaged software similar to ERP – will be the wave of future. I detailed a number of reasons why that scenario is unlikely to happen in this blog post. Now, we are releasing the results of a survey we conducted of more than 200 marketing, IT and business professionals that cast more doubt on the likelihood on DXPs being the right answer.
One of the assertions Forrester makes is that DXPs will involve six building blocks from content to customer service. While it’s nice to think these areas will sufficiently cover customer experience, our research shows that the real customer application mix is much more complex. As shown in the chart below take from the survey report, 27% of the companies we surveyed have 11 or more customer-facing applications while another 23% have 8-10 systems.
It’s unlikely that a DXP – none of which actually exist currently – will be able to adequately replicate the required level of functionality across such a diverse range of applications. What’s even more daunting is the long list of applications companies see as part of their mix going forward. Since digital experience typically starts with a web presence and content management system, we asked companies to identify the type of applications they would like to see integrated with their CMS. As you might expect, the list shown below is extensive and again unlikely to be adequately covered by a DXP.
It’s tempting to think that a mythical DXP could transform the digital experience for customers at the press of a button. However, the reality is that such a platform even if it did exist would stand little chance of meeting their needs. The applications and systems environment is just too complex and a rip-and-replace approach would not only be highly disruptive but would also limit agility and the ability to adapt to change. The latter is an important point as 53% of our survey respondents said that becoming more agile is a key goal of digital transformation.
Based on this analysis, it's apparent that the right approach to digital transformation is best-of-breed. Under this model, existing applications along with new or updated applications are loosely coupled using lightweight programmatic interfaces. At the same time, vendors work together to give customers the mix and match integration they need to adapt to changing market and customer needs. The result is a richer, more personal digital experience for customers, increased agility and lower operational costs.
To learn more, start by downloading the full survey report here. Then head over and sign up for a webinar we are hosting with CMSWire at 11:00 am PT/2:00 pm ET on Dec. 8, 2015 where Guy Schneider, vice president of sales for e-Spirit Inc., and Heather MacFayden, vice president of production and senior WCM analyst at our partner Falcon-Software, will walk through the findings in more detail. And be sure to check back here often for more discussion and analysis.