Intelligent CIO Middle East Issue 86 - Page 84

FINAL WORD
3 . Encourage citizen development
All of these avenues may seem attractive in theory , but many regional businesses may find themselves in a bind over skills gaps . It is expensive and often fruitless , to attract and retain the kind of skills necessary to build the advanced digital workflows mentioned here . But today , automation projects can be undertaken by the very users that they will most benefit from , rather than farmed out to IT through a lengthy development lifecycle that includes imperfect requirements gathering .
Mark Ackerman , Area VP , Middle East & Africa , ServiceNow
culture shift that prioritises the customer relationship – moving from transactional to relational interaction . The metrics and workflows of modern digital platforms allow businesses to monitor how their offerings are being adopted and integrated and what successes they are bringing to customers . Through this approach , relationships become something to be maintained , renewed and enhanced as an ongoing project .
With this kind of culture in place , workflow tools that connect touchpoints will allow companies to deploy Artificial Intelligence that can predict the potential loss of a customer and trigger a fresh workflow to redress the satisfaction deficit . Metrics such as active users , engagement scores and retention rates can likewise be used to initiate proactive measures and preserve customer loyalty .
2 . Forget websites ; offer digital services
Static information pages are to the digital world as the dodo is to the animal kingdom . And corporate brochures are to a digital native as a bicycle is to a fish . The millennial and the Gen-Zer demand digital services . The mobile app , the messaging channel , the chatbot – these speak the language of the modern consumer . But they do more . They offer a window into the behaviours and preferences of individual consumers who – remember – expect to be treated as individuals . In real-time , interaction data is not as actionable as it is when looking at the patterns in behaviour over time to discern trends that can inform decisions .
This approach also enables the proactive customer service mentioned earlier , in that it allows the business to anticipate issues and demands and allows the designers of digital services to empower the customer to discover new products and find solutions to their own problems . Self-service is , after all , another defining aspiration of the digital native and it has the convenient side-effect of being cost-friendly to the business .
The citizen developer , under thoughtful governance , can be a lucrative asset capable of adding much more value than a new IT source . Using simple , drag-and-drop , lowcode development platforms ( LDP ), non-tech citizen developers save on the procurement and ongoing costs of a new human resource , they deliver higher-fidelity outcomes and they learn new skills , which allows them to add even more value as time goes on .
Of course , the success of the citizen developer is predicated on a fully integrated IT department that supports them and empowers them to become autonomous . But if duly supported , the citizen developer – immersed as they are in daily , valueadding innovation – is much more likely to stay with the company than if they remain an undervalued backroom specialist perpetually frustrated by corporate inertia .
4 . Redesign cybersecurity
Today , every digital business has digital assets to protect . If they did not , they would not be a digital business . Mere anti-virus and firewall just won ’ t cut it . Intellectual property and cloud infrastructure require a stronger threat posture and a dedicated security operations centre ( SOC ) that covers the detection of threats , the containment of damage and the recovery from incidents .
But today ’ s security teams must go further , to take responsibility for the assessment and management of risk , including penetration testing and red-team exercises . They must be integral to the design and testing of digital experiences to ensure the brand ’ s market reputation is not tarnished by trust issues . And they must be conversant in regulatory compliance and granted the authority to enforce it internally .
The digital business at last
Businesses must be and will be , digital . But slapping technology on top of legacy processes and stale culture will not be sufficient . Delight the customer , inspire the employee and secure the infrastructure . Now you are ready for the digital economy . p
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