Smart Enterprise: why customer-centricity is key for your organisation

Denise Kee, Chief Executive Officer at Xtremax

According to the ‘CIO Technology Playbook 2023’ study commissioned by Lenovo and AMD, driving better customer experience and greater satisfaction is a top priority for CIOs today, ranking second just behind revenue and profit growth.

With research showing that the costs of acquiring new customers is five times that of retaining a new one, it is no wonder businesses today are adopting a customer-centric approach in guiding their digital and technological strategies.  

By focusing on customer-centricity, businesses can develop a holistic digital transformation strategy that helps them reap the benefits of being a smart enterprise. Cost effectiveness is not the only benefit to be reaped; by staying focused on the customer, organisations have found clearer direction to their digital transformation journeys, and have in fact achieved greater business resilience, privacy, and security, all while retaining and gaining new customers. The question often is, “Where to start?” And it begins with relooking at the basics – your technology infrastructure.

Tapping on the Cloud to Deliver Customer-Centricity

With the digital economy in Southeast Asia now expected to grow from US$170 billion in 2021 to US$360 billion by 2025 — and to US$1 trillion by 2030, customers today are interacting with organisations across multiple touchpoints. They expect nothing less than tailored experiences, frictionless transitions between channels, and exceptional customer service – particularly in high touch-point industries such as retail, healthcare, and insurance.

However, many organisations struggle with siloed legacy infrastructure that makes it challenging to gather the data required to deliver on this hyper-personalisation. By tapping on the cloud, organisations can consolidate all their services and data and transform how customers interact with them, all while ensuring scalable, agile, and sustainable growth.

Take for example, Danone Indonesia, who wanted to improve its store performance across the country. Instead of looking for tactical measures to temporarily boost sales revenues such as discounts or campaigns, they approached it from a wider perspective. They realized they needed more insights to drive their business decisions and tapped on Xtremax for a complete cloud-based data processing stack and data management platform. This empowered their merchandisers and other decision makers, and in a way, manifested their slogan of “One Planet, One Health.”

By going one step further and building modern, microservices architecture in cloud, organisations can further improve on their ability to deliver customer-centricity. When built well, microservices enables quicker deployments, allowing companies to perform updates, and roll out new features that cater to customer needs much faster, and at a greater scale.

Empowering Employees to Adopt a Customer-Centric Mindset

But it’s not just about the technology either. In this journey towards becoming a customer-centric smart enterprise, organisations also need to think beyond the technology. They need to prioritise their own people.

There is often strong internal resistance to digital transformation. McKinsey revealed that 70 percent of organisational-change programs fail to meet their objectives. This is mostly due to the lack of management support. Whether an organisation is in its early days of moving towards the cloud or looking to transition from a monolithic architecture to a modern infrastructure, organisations must remember to not leave their employees behind.

Keeping abreast of industry trends and needs is an important piece of this puzzle, as smart enterprises need to digitalise customer touchpoints to deliver customer-first service through hyper-personalisation, omnichannel experiences, and round-the clock availability.

By providing development programmes that adapt to employees’ needs, interests, and concerns, organisations can ease the stress of upskilling and efficiently reskill valued employees and redefine their capabilities in the digital age. This empowers employees to adopt an “always on” approach to meet customers wherever they are, whenever they are, throughout the sales journey.

When Customers Benefit, So Do You

A customer-centric organisation advocates for the user, keeps a pulse on their needs, and works with technology partners who encourage alignment and collaboration across the entire organisation.

The move to digitalise should not be borne out of the fear of missing out on the latest tech trend, but instead to achieve real growth, innovation, and efficiencies for the customer. This transformation needs to encompass the entire organisation, and as such, strive to ensure that their people, processes, and tools are all geared towards smart practices.

That said, digitalisation is not a one-off endeavour, but instead a complex, ongoing effort that requires regular evaluation and continuous optimisation. For organisations embarking on the journey to becoming a smart enterprise, having a trusted service provider by their side will be crucial to circumventing pitfalls, and to reap the full benefits of digitalisation.