Modern technology architectures require new operating models for addressing the human element. Business tech is evolving — again — with a more pervasive computing style rooted in systems integration. What are the latest strategies to improve your IT approach and enhance both your customer and employee experiences? How will these shifts change your legacy platforms and technical debt along with the digital interactions of your end users?
Strategic recommendations for IT architectures
The past two years have been anything but sedate in IT circles. Innovations that used to take months now deploy in weeks, forcing organizations and tech teams to find new levels of agility. Alternatively, they risk losing market share, being left behind the technology curve, or otherwise failing to deliver on digital transformation. Even the largest enterprise organizations have found themselves moving from traditional IT-focused architectures to the democratization of technology with software as a service (SaaS). Instead of buying and deploying software, or hiring new talent, the latest strategic recommendations for IT architectures suggest SaaS partnerships are better for everything from cybersecurity to customer experience.
Writing in Forbes, Forrester says, “Going forward, firms will get a bigger boost from platforms that bundle technology and services preassembled to deliver specific customer experiences or a new business capability.” This is due in part to COVID-19. The pandemic changed how we think about work. Shifting consumer and employee behaviors make it clear that old ways of doing business are too unwieldy for current market trends. At some point things may “normalize,” but that normalization will likely incorporate many of the trends developed in the past two years.
There will be more uncertainty in the days ahead, and IT teams must make changes now to improve end-user experience with their products. In fact, your entire technology structure likely needs revamping. New approaches should:
- Shift IT from a command-and-control mentality to an adaptive governance model that employs platform teams and emboldens DevOps.
- Adjust cybersecurity strategies to embrace the “work from anywhere” model as a permanent fixture of your organization.
- Create a target operating model in the cloud with real-time measurements of employee and customer satisfaction.
- Build new partnerships, but maintain strategy, architecture, and security in-house.
You should also consider incorporating SaaS models as a more substantial part of your business strategy. It’s an effective way for enterprise organizations to create more agility and overcome labor shortages. Part of this process should include shoring up relationships with your in-house IT teams.
Improving the employee experience
“Employee experience” is a watchword for every company going forward. Not only is it the right thing to do, but the current talent shortage demands it. The employee experience goes beyond providing tech to embrace active listening and mission-driven work, and Big Tech can make improvements to create a better environment for your employees. Some of the best tools for enhancing the employee experience include:
- Employee engagement technology to measure the experience of everyone on your team. These tools gather data and provide filters to gauge the overall experience rating over time.
- Employee productivity software creates transparency. Connect employee productivity to your company’s mission, and allow these tools to motivate and inspire.
- Employee empowerment tools, which are the everyday technologies your employees use to complete their work. These may include collaboration tools — particularly helpful for dispersed workforces. The best tools integrate well with existing systems for increased productivity and workflow efficiency.
Employers should also consider the advantages of optimized self-service portals in human resources, which saves your business time and money on HR while improving the employee experience and general retention. Given the current job market, investing in software solutions is both wise and necessary.
Nurturing customer connections everywhere
2022 will be the year of omnichannel as organizations move to reach customers on every digital channel. Creating a true omnichannel, integrated experience for your customers is the ultimate goal. Make every interaction count for a true end-to-end consumer journey, which can only be achieved with the right technologies for integrating customer experiences. Look for tech that:
- Gives customers the right product and pricing information, everywhere, all the time.
- Connects an omnichannel experience with personalized emails.
- Links mobile, eCommerce, and in-store experience.
- Creates loyalty programs to inspire real change in customer behavior.
- Allows customers to pay when and how they want, with ease and security.
Deloitte says we’re heading toward “tech-enabled business strategy, optimized for agility.” It makes sense for companies to examine technology options in response to market trends that are, of late, anything but predictable.
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