Innovation should not be limited to the top management or certain departments as it is the job of every employee, said Cross. To encourage its employees to innovate, DBS has implemented a reward system in which employees are awarded points whenever they suggest ideas on the company's crowdsourcing platform, conduct experiments, or launch new products. The person with the highest score or the most daring experiment will be rewarded at the end of the month. "It's important to reward and give recognition to employees who innovate, even if the project is not successful, as this keeps the innovation momentum going," he advised.
Since failure is usually frowned upon in Asia, CIOs could also drive innovation by cultivating a more accepting culture towards failure. To do so, CIOs can provide a safe place for employees to run experiments. "Even in the event of a failure, it is important to celebrate it because if people aren't failing, they're not being ambitious or trying hard enough," said Cross.
Making the first mile of customer engagement smarter
The 'first mile of customer engagement' is simply defined as "customer-facing processes". It represents the information-intensive interactions customers have with an organisation, explained Prem Pravan, Vice President, Asia, Kofax Asia Pacific. These interactions are often labour-intensive, slow and prone to errors, and can adversely affect a customer's perception of your business.
The quality of this 'first mile of customer engagement' is also heavily influenced by what happens behind the scenes. For instance, in an F1 race, a quick pit stop serves as a critical factor to winning the race. A pit crew comprises of nearly 20 people, with each one trained for a specific role, but they all strive towards a common goal: to get their 'customer' (the driver) out on the track. "Similarly, organisations need to work on aligning their strategies, goals and operational KPIs to enhance customer experience," advised Pravan.
Additionally, time-to-market expectations are also changing, he noted. For instance, Apple has completely disrupted the mobile phone market with the entrance of iPhone. It leveraged capabilities they have already designed and built, and extended it to a mobile phone. "This ability to leverage and reuse existing infrastructures is critical as it helps improve time-to-market by freeing up our time and space to innovate," said Pravan.
Lastly, organisations need to focus their shifts to visibility and control by adopting business or process intelligence. Comparing the two, Pravan noted that business intelligence is like a "map" as its reports and charts are based on knowledge gathered over time. On the other hand, process intelligence is like a "GPS navigation". It tells you your current location, guides you to your destination, and also provides real-time updates and alerts on traffic conditions so that you can change your routes accordingly. Likewise, real-time visibility into core customer-facing processes allows organisations to change track and respond better.
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.