Digital transformation was well on its way before the pandemic hit, but once companies realized that the way business had been done pre-COVID was going to radically change during the lockdown the conversion was shifted into overdrive. For business, technology went from being an essential ingredient to being an indispensable one. With customers moving online and employees working from home, digital transformation technologies like the cloud, AI, machine learning, RPA, and AIOps are helping companies of all sizes modernize their digital, non-digital, and manual processes to provide a customer experience that is recognized and rewarded with customer loyalty.
‘Digital transformation is a catchall term used for the process of revolutionizing a company’s IT department. It is one of the most difficult transformations a company can make, but it is a great opportunity to craft new customer experiences and to implement personalization marketing that is becoming so prevalent amongst corporations.
‘Customer eXperience’ is a term being used by many software vendors these days and it requires sophisticated CRM, Multichannel Marketing (MCM), and social media solutions to work together in concert to connect with customers in real-time. It recognizes that customers are looking for contextual and personally satisfying experiences from the companies they patronize, and the only way to accomplish this is through fast-moving digital channels.
Businesses need to capture as much customer data as possible and then create the all-important single customer view, which will be used to understand customer behavior. This understanding makes it possible to deliver personalized experiences at scale as well as build a base of loyal customers that can be the foundation for future growth. Personalization at scale is one of the hardest things to accomplish and it is impossible to do without technology that can capture, modify, and model data so that each customer feels as though he or she is being treated like a VIP.
A digital transformation can help personalize the customer experience. Geo-fencing apps can spot customers entering a store, then trigger a marketing offer. Facial recognition technology can make customer experiences more personal. Customer service via chatbots can help customers instantly find the information they want as seamlessly as they want. And on the channels, they want as chatbots can connect via social media channels like Facebook, WhatsApp, WeChat, Telegram, and Twitter. All of these experiences would be impossible without the latest digital technology.
The advantages of the cloud – cost, scalability, speed, reliability, unlimited storage capacity, and automatic software integration – far outweigh the disadvantages of not having data housed on a local server. The cloud allows for flexibility, mobility, security, increased collaboration, easier disaster recovery, while also providing a competitive edge that will be recognized by today’s demanding customers.
Cloud technology allows businesses to utilize sales-centric campaign management tools that channel real-time data to customers, engaging them in behavioral and contextual ways. The cloud can revolutionize marketing departments, allowing them to rapidly collect, utilize and disseminate information to customers through a multitude of channels.
The cloud is a game-changer for companies trying to digitally transform. With the coming IoT data deluge, the cloud will become a necessity because many IoT devices have to communicate with cloud or edge cloud devices, sending streams of data back and forth in real-time.
The term Artificial Intelligence or A.I. is often used to describe machines that copy cognitive functions associated with the human mind, such as learning and problem-solving.
The lifeblood of AI, machine learning, and deep learning is data, lots, and lots of highly accessible and easily scalable data. The cloud is by far the best place to collect and analyze all of this data. The cloud can make AI models vastly superior to standard analytical models because they can be made in real-time data, taking data from a multitude of sources, including the IoT, mobile apps, and social media. Models can be quickly built models, results instantly disseminate to whoever needs it.
AI in Operations or AIOps is a tool that delivers end-to-end, three-dimensional visibility into a company’s operating systems. AIOps can uncover errors in noisy event streams and alleviate them before they create problems. A data-driven decision-making tool that optimizes an IT estate, AIOps can automatically open tickets, fill them with important log and/or event information, add all appropriate metrics, then send the ticket to a technician. This enhances IT’s ability to quickly understand problems, initiate solutions, almost creating a self-healing system.
A successful digital transformation requires the right digital culture, complete with strong leaders who plan for the long-term term and don’t get distracted by short-term fluctuations in the market. Data will be the centerpiece of any digital transformation. Every touchpoint, every transaction, every clickstream, every customer interaction provides a digital footprint rich in information and context. A digital transformation will improve a company’s current processes, increase employee satisfaction, and build loyal customers, but, most of all, it will help a company evolve and not just remain competitive in their industry but also lead it.