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X marks the spot for digital transformation

Tim O'Neill | Aug. 21, 2015
Getting customer experience right is becoming a make-or-break for many businesses. And best-in-class digital transformation must be underpinned by enterprise, business, and IT roadmaps -- that is, by enterprise architecture

Choose analytics which enable groups across the business to take a data-driven approach to planning CX strategies. Again, these should be either very easy to keep up-to-date (through a web-based portal or an API) or automatable. Anything requiring "swivel-chair integration" is brittle and will be too easily abandoned.

3. Adapt
Customer trends change, goalposts move and in a customer-focused business, analysis should be an everyday habit.  Business strategy and enterprise planning tools should have the capacity to continually change the way they model.  For enterprise architects this means having the ability to adapt and create their own hybrid frameworks and meta-models, tailored to business needs. E.g. BIZBOK + TOGAF or BMM + P3O + UML.  Those responsible for CX can then scrutinize their digital ecosystem to ensure customer, IT and business goals are aligned.

4. Plan
Anticipating customer requirements and reactions requires data, and planning. Teams need to chart multiple scenarios: project architectures, transition architectures and target architectures, weighing which are best against the chosen CX KPIs. This sophisticated approach, known as "roadmapping", is the key to staying a step ahead of customers, competitors (and possibly your boss).

5. Present
Communication is the most important element to ensuring that a long-term IT-business engagement such as CX is consistently successful. Don't skimp on the time and tools you will need to explain complex information to a variety of levels of the business -- including C-level, IT, and marketing.

Start communicating early in a project, and make sure you can do it well and often. Reports and presentations are likely to be the mainstay of your efforts. But to make sure you reach everyone you need to efficiently, intelligence needs to be accessible in the cloud and on mobile devices.  Aim to provide your key reports with self-service access to real-time data, including the ability to perform ad-hoc queries and analytics on it themselves.

Digital transformation is impossible without the ability to understand and model the digital ecosystem including the business capabilities and technology involved. Then selecting the appropriate metrics, running scenario analysis, reporting on outcomes and most importantly adapting quickly to customer needs -- this is the domain of the enterprise architect. The two must go hand in hand.

If you enjoyed reading this article, and would like to learn more about the topic of transformation, you might want to register for the CIO Summit 2015. Attendance is complimentary for qualified registrants. Please visit


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