A CIO’s Guide to Conquering the Data Conundrum
Here's how CIOs can drive business results through harnessing siloed data into a value asset in the Experience Era.
In 2010, Domino’s made a big change — crust, sauce, toppings. But more importantly, it changed how it interacted with customers.
For example, Domino’s was one of the first companies to embed a fully integrated virtual voice assistant into its app. Customers can now order by calling, texting, or tweeting. They can easily repeat previous orders, then track it on web or mobile. And today, around 60 percent of all its orders are transacted digitally.
Everyone wants this kind of digital transformation because improving customer experience is better for business.
But data still remains a challenge. 72 percent of global enterprise IT decision-makers say their data landscape is complex because of the variety and number of data sources. Fifty percent of these decision-makers believe data is inaccessible to a wide variety of business stakeholders.
Data is an inherently a technology problem, which CIOs are uniquely positioned to solve.
There are three key things a CIO can do to enable better customer experience through better data usage — embrace a shared strategy across the C-suite, look beyond transactional data, and capitalize on disruptive technologies.
Rally leadership on experience strategy
Successful digital transformation requires strategic alignment at the C-level. There should be a single transformation strategy with experience objectives and business outcomes.
For example, at Domino’s, the first step was organizational alignment and buy-in. The senior leadership team rallied around a vision that Domino’s was an “e-commerce company that happens to sell pizza.”
Like Domino’s, a shared vision is crucial, but has to be anchored in using information and technology as strategic assets across the enterprise. This is where CIOs can lead the way.
CIOs can help their organizations innovate while keeping current operational and technology processes running smoothly.
Harness transactional and interactional data
Historically, customer experience was a discrete experience based on a single transaction. Now, experiences are continuous, frequent and produce huge amounts of behavioral data — website visits, offer responses, call center interactions, and more.
But both transactional and interactional data are crucial to a compelling customer experience. And for most companies, this is a problem. According to a study by MIT Technology Review, 78 percent of companies struggle to digest, analyze, and interpret their current volume of data. Worse than the volume of data, however, is the complexity.
Having a single view of the customer — which is critical to the best experiences — means resolving identity across many different data sources from different interactions, online and offline. And the data from these interactions needs to be normalized so their value can be realized. Then, governance, security, and privacy needs to be applied on top of the data, adhering to current regulations and policies like GDPR.
Because CIOs are so close to existing tech stacks, they know that piecing together legacy software to create this unified customer view is painful and ineffective. This puts them in the right position to advocate for a more holistic stack built specifically around customer experience management (CXM).
Architect CXM for unlimited data scale
A CXM stack can also help companies rapidly embrace innovative technologies. With this modern tech infrastructure in place, CIOs can usher in disruptive technologies such as edge computing and artificial intelligence.
With distributed IT like edge, data is processed as close to the experience as possible. It allows companies to gain insight with extremely low latency and enhanced reliability, equipping them to deliver the sub-millisecond response time consumers now demand.
Case in point — edge technology enables the voice assistant that takes your ultimate pepperoni pizza order from Domino’s.
At the same time, artificial intelligence and machine learning allow you to analyze massive amounts of data to find insights that would otherwise be lost. This allows you take advantage of other experience-oriented technology — like personalization — at a scale and speed not before possible.
These disruptive technologies hinge on moving from the fragmented view of the customer provided by outdated technologies architected for a different era of customer experience to a fully dimensional understanding of each customer’s real-time needs. And that means a purpose-built CXM stack.
The vision for the future
Customer experience is now a key differentiator — experience-driven businesses generate more revenue growth, greater brand awareness, higher average order values, customer retention, and customer satisfaction rates.
Data is a huge opportunity for CIOs to partner with their C-suite counterparts and become champions of customer experience. In so doing, they can create a culture of data in their companies where everyone has the insight they need to deliver the right customer experience for every customer.