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10/4/2012
03:29 PM
Kyle McNabb
Kyle McNabb
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Digital Disruption: Don't Get Left Out

Is your company's customer experience changing as fast as say, smartphones are progressing? Forrester shares advice from digital disruptors.

Embrace, Develop, Cultivate Disruptive Competencies

Today's digital disruptors internalize technology to find disruptive new things to do. Learn from these disruptors to help your firm keep pace with its empowered customers, employees, and society.

1. Master an important customer experience competency: design. Design is more than aesthetic. In today's empowered age, software applications must not only look good, they must perform, requiring strong software architecture design to deliver to ever-increasing engagement expectations.

2. Adopt continual innovation and leveraged development approaches. Most organizations innovate most rapidly in their customer channels, creating new campaigns and offers, new products, and new experiences many times a year. In a cross-channel world, rapid innovation demands common visual and architectural designs, as well as common, iterative, and flexible delivery processes. Moreover, common assets and architecture will promote the consistency that is vital to deliver unified customer experiences.

3. Invest in software as a competency, not a commodity. Digital disruptors are better, faster, and stronger at what they do in part due to how they view software development as a competency they must develop and cultivate. Software is central to today's empowered customers, employees, and society, and digital disruptors cultivate strong software engineering skills to help innovate and deliver to society's wants and needs.

Deliver Unified Customer Experience Across Channels And Touchpoints

Customer experience strategies redefine how you engage with customers across channels and touchpoints. Separate, disconnected digital experiences for several touchpoints will be unstable in the long run, and in the short term, destructive to brand identity. The future demands unified experiences that traverse multiple touchpoints. As a vendor to new stakeholders, prepare to establish a different approach to support marketing and strategy leaders. Follow the examples of leading firms, showcased in our research:

-- Consider establishing new dedicated teams to satisfy stakeholder needs.

-- Adopt new, separate architectures that deliver engagement and actionable insight relying on new data and analytics capabilities integrating with historical systems of record.

-- Implement software & application lifecycle management methods and techniques to not just keep pace with your stakeholders, but help them keep pace with your customers, employees, and society.

James McQuivey is a VP and principal analyst at Forrester Research.

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