Beyond omni-channel: moving to a customer engagement model that is flexible enough to absorb changes in technology driven behaviour.
That’s a convoluted way of saying, whatever new technology emerges (particularly technology that impacts consumers purchasing behaviour – think tablets – who knew they wanted a giant iPhone?!), all organisations should be in a position to move with the market and deliver services via that new technology or emerging channel.
Given the rate of change in end-point technology (smart watches, Google glass and whatever else is round the corner next), organisations (and their suppliers) should be looking to implement the type of IT environment that gives them the tools and flexibility to sell their products in any and all emerging media. This is true omni-channel engagement; it is not about a set of defined channels that you look to optimise, it is being able to respond to the customer preference regardless of the channel (now or in the future).
Now this could be a very expensive endeavor if you are working in a legacy environment where your existing IT does not flex the way you want it to. The trick is to implement an elastic, scalable platform that allows you to both build the new and migrate the old; while being able to grow with your organisation. Critically, you need a platform that allows (and is designed to) accept perpetual improvements and innovation, so that organisations can move away from transformation programmes and simply adopt transformation as an ongoing part of what their IT infrastructure should be doing.
The success of this will be determined by speed to market and the ability to continuously deploy at pace. So many organisations may already have the necessary tools to achieve this vision, but have imposed such heavy internal governance that they are not able to make best use of it. Therefore, along with the necessary elastic and scalable platform, businesses (and their suppliers) need to look at their change process top to bottom and view the ability to deploy at pace as one of the key differentiators in gaining market position.
It is unlikely that the consumer technology market, and the behaviors it drives, will slow down any time soon; thus any business vying for their share of your wallet needs to ensure that constant innovation is the norm, built on an IT environment that can support the challenges this brings.