Many businesses aren’t entirely sure what to expect in 2023. Ongoing inflation, lingering supply chain challenges, and the threat of a possible recession have businesses reassessing their priorities and treading carefully as they head into the new year. Some are focusing on costs and delivering cost savings. Others are shoring up their competitive advantage and will choose to double down on differentiators in 2023.
In all cases, the market uncertainty we face this year underscores the increasing importance of one key business attribute — agility.
For most organizations, this will mean keeping their foot on the gas when it comes to prioritizing digital transformation efforts. In fact, one recent Gartner study shows that 94% of CEOs plan to continue their digital transformation efforts heading into the new year.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at a few trends that will guide the way organizations think about digital transformation this year.
1. Customer Experience as a Market Differentiator
Today, your biggest competitor is your customer’s last best experience. With each new seamless digital experience your customers have, their expectations for interacting with your business grow.
To date, most businesses have focused their efforts on engaging customers and making it easier to transact with them digitally. However, in 2023 we’ll see many more organizations take their efforts one step farther. Customer experience will become a necessary differentiator, and new technology capabilities will make it easier than ever to deploy solutions that augment these existing digital customer experiences.
Many market leaders have already started down this road. For example, virtual dressing rooms and avatars allowed some retailers to show how clothing will fit on a person’s body, and 3D environments simulated product placement and positioning in a home and more. Businesses leveraging this type of experience, such as Hugo Boss and Walmart, have seen significant benefit from a revenue and customer loyalty perspective.
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2. Creating the Best Place to Work
In a post-pandemic world, we are seeing many employees place greater emphasis on their work environment and job satisfaction. As we talked about in the last section, we also know customers are gravitating to seamless, digital customer experiences.
To accommodate the latter, organizations are beginning to prioritize the former. In addition to the technologies necessary to enable differentiated experiences, we are seeing businesses invest tremendously on the employee experience. More specifically, businesses want employees engaging when there is unique, personalized value they can deliver that other methods can’t replicate. In an effort to achieve this ideal state, businesses are increasingly focused on ensuring employees are happy, productive, and feel valued by leveraging digital transformation to drive exceptional employee experiences.
Let’s take a look at a couple of use cases that will become more common:
Workplace Flexibility and Culture
In the last two years, we have seen tremendous workforce movement as employees look for attractive careers, workplace flexibility, and opportunities for career growth.
To ensure this turnover doesn’t disrupt an organization’s vision for a differentiated customer experience, businesses are focusing on modernizing their technology stack to create the most seamless and orchestrated employee experience possible. We are seeing massive shifts from on-premises, non-real-time systems to everything-as-a-service to accommodate hybrid work environments in a device-agnostic form. It’s all about creating the “best place to work” — reducing employee turnover and maximizing the performance and happiness of existing contributors.
Attracting and Retaining Talent
Businesses focused on creating a “best place to work” environment generally see more productivity, engagement, and consistent results from employees — with higher employee satisfaction.
One way we are starting to see businesses try to accomplish this is by empowering employees to excel in their roles and grow in their careers. Reskilling and upskilling are two actionable objectives business are starting to address through digital transformation methods, such as learning and performance tools, more informative agent desktops, and greater access to workforce intelligence and analytics. These investments in employee performance help drive employee engagement, and employee engagement is a big factor in retention. In fact, one Gallup poll found highly engaged business units achieve an 18% improvement in turnover.
3. Elevating IT as a Driver of Business Outcomes
As we think about what is needed to create differentiated customer and employee experiences, modernization of the technology stack is central to both.
As a result, we are seeing a huge shift in alignment between senior leadership and IT, where IT is now being used to enable business outcomes. In other words, IT transformation has become a critical vehicle for achieving many of a business’ most important outcomes — from cost containment, to increasing customer lifetime value, to driving customer satisfaction.
Making it easier for business leaders and IT leaders to work together and bring the right strategic and operational insights to the table is crucial to protect digital transformation investments in 2023 and beyond. For every organization, the right approach will look a bit different. In some cases, it might look like multidisciplinary teams coming together to blend expertise. In other cases, it could require the integration of external partners to come in and help business and IT teams speak the same language and uncover the right insights to build around.
In all cases, the value that both groups bring to the table is critical to ensure digital transformation projects accomplish the right objectives and create the right value for the organization long-term.
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Ready to capitalize on one or more of these trends in 2023? Let’s get started.
All three of these trends share one thing in common. They aim to bring human-centered design to every aspect of business. From customer experiences, to employee experiences, to greater internal collaboration, digital transformation trends in 2023 will be focused on solving for the critical human-to-human interactions.
When it comes to solving this unique IT challenge, few teams can offer the same suite of services and level of expertise as our team here at TTEC Digital.
If your organization has identified digital transformation as a vital business objective for 2023, get in touch with our team of experts so we can provide personalized guidance to help you get started.