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The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the adoption of cloud and other digital technologies in every industry. Statista found that global spending on digital-transformation-related technologies and services is expected to reach $2.3 trillion by 2023.
Enterprises are mainly looking at how they can provide the necessary support to keep employees connected in a remote setting. Many of our clients are thereby investing in transforming the service experience not only for their IT but many of their strategic business areas. With an objective to deliver smart, intuitive experiences to clients and employees, they are modernizing and automating enterprise-wide processes that streamline workflows and enable employees to work with ease.
However, the industry lacks a comprehensive or standard way to measure the success of digital transformation initiatives and objectively determine the positive impact on UX. Customer satisfaction (CSAT) surveys and net promoter scores (NPS) are not comprehensive enough to cover all the dimensions of the experience. They also lack a standard frame of reference that could help provide a holistic picture. Instead, most of the measurement with respect to digital experience is extremely vague and often binary -- either the user is happy or is not.
We have worked with several clients across industries and, in our experience, the following are the four major parameters that impact the effectiveness of a digital program -- and integrating them could give what we can call a "digital experience index" to gauge the effectiveness of digital and cloud strategies.
1. User experience
Superior UX is a critical measure of success in any digital transformation initiative. Cloud-based offerings are consumed by a variety of user personas including employees, customers, vendors and partners. The experience of each of these stakeholders needs to be positive. How seamless is the cloud offering? How quickly can the organization recover in case of any glitch? Has it helped accelerate specific processes? How easy is it to use the technology?
For instance, a customer of ours, a global cereal manufacturer, wanted self-service capabilities for its employees that are tailored to meet their individual needs. Therefore, we created a set of persona-based experiences designed for different types of users and their unique needs within the organization. For example, sales employees who are frequently on the road had certain specific requirements compared to employees working primarily from home. By giving each set of users an experience tailored to meet their needs, the organization ensured a superior user experience across the board.
Underlying technology has an important role in defining the success of any digital transformation initiative. A poorly designed and complex system can lead to inconsistent processes, reduced productivity and lack of user adoption. The inability to upgrade to new features or not use all the technology features can also lead to dissatisfaction.
Does technology involve using multiple platforms? Often, the UX is compromised when they need to log into multiple platforms to perform different functions. Ensuring the technology being used is close to the out-of-box configuration with minimum deviations and timely upgrades is an excellent way to increase the digital experience index.
We recently worked with a reinsurance provider with several disparate systems that made it cumbersome for users. We found that by bringing everything into one unified platform with a single interface for business users, we could deliver a satisfying experience.
A digital transformation initiative needs to also include a process transformation. Inefficient or complex processes lead to unhappy customers, loss of productivity and high total cost of ownership. Therefore, processes require a redesign that is seamless, comfortable and conducive to a good UX.
When a fast-food giant we worked with wanted to move its legacy data centers to the cloud, the company emphasized designing the right business process architecture to ensure seamless technology services were provided for legacy or cloud infrastructure. This was important to ensure a consistent experience for users.
Each implementation needs to begin with a fundamental question: What outcomes should cloud offerings focus on to deliver superior personal experiences? Often, organizations do not know the right KPIs to measure the business outcomes, which directly affects IT user experience. Therefore, awareness and goal setting are important.
For instance, one of our clients, a beverage manufacturer, came up with detailed metrics that could determine the success of the transformation initiative. For example, how many legacy platforms can be decommissioned for the implementation? To what extent will the new environment be more stable compared to the current one? Such specific metrics make it easier to measure effectiveness.
Organizations make considerable investments in technology infrastructure, given the critical role it plays in businesses. Therefore, bringing in a greater degree of objectivity to measuring the digital transformation experience is extremely important. While there are currently no standardized models to measure effectiveness, the above parameters can serve as useful guidelines.
About the author: Anant R. Adya is the senior vice president of cloud, infrastructure and security (CIS) services at Infosys. Adya is responsible for growth of the CIS service line in the Americas and Asia Pacific regions for Infosys. In his 25 years of professional experience, he has worked closely with many global clients to help define and build their cloud and infrastructure strategies and run end-to-end IT operations. Currently, he works with customers and the industry sales/engagement teams on the digital transformation journey. He defines digital transformation as helping customers to determine the location of workloads, leveraging new age development tools for cloud apps, enabling DevOps and most importantly keeping the environment secure and enhancing customer experience.