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Owning the experience

Tim Greulich, Managing Director and SAP XM Practice Leader, Deloitte
Tim Greulich, Managing Director and SAP XM Practice Leader, Deloitte

Tim Greulich, Managing Director and SAP XM Practice Leader, Deloitte

The events of the past year have accelerated digital transformation for many organizations. New supply chain challenges, the rise of remote work, and changing customer habits are just a few of the pressures that have driven companies across industries to reexamine how they deliver products and services—and ultimately how they deliver experiences.

As the expectations of employees, customer, and other stakeholders have risen, so too have the expectations for the IT organization. IT decision-makers now face a golden opportunity to redefine their roles and the value they can help their companies unlock. And experience management (XM) lies at the heart of that opportunity.

Acting on a feeling

The accelerated pace of business brings with it an accelerated stream of data about the human experience—feedback, sentiment, and other points of information from customers, employees, and even third parties. IT leaders own the realm of experience (X) data, yet many are failing to collect, analyze, and act on it to drive operational improvements, innovation, and growth for their businesses.

XM capabilities are an essential ingredient for the Kinetic Enterprise™—an intelligent, built-to-evolve enterprise that can pivot, innovate, and respond at the pace of disruption. By constantly taking the pulse of human experiences and drawing insights from that X data, you can begin to see and show the areas where your business can improve. XM can be key to helping your business save time, trim costs, differentiate offerings, identify growth opportunities, boost customer satisfaction, increase employee engagement, and more.

For example, are your app development teams telling you they could deliver better and faster results if your company eliminated specific obstacles? Are customers telling you that they want your business to add certain features to your offerings? Are business partners telling you that they’re noticing quality issues with some of your products and services? Are employees telling you that they spend too much time navigating screens instead of actually supporting customer needs?

Often, feedback from stakeholder can feel anecdotal or sporadic. But it’s likely more plentiful than some IT leaders realize. Every human experience goes hand in hand with human sentiment—and presents an opportunity to capture that sentiment in the form of data. Was an experience good? Bad? Ugly? Unremarkable? What was it like? What would make it better? What should remain the same? The challenge for enterprise leaders is to collect, understand, and act on that sentiment data.

Leading a revolution

The good news is that a number of mature technologies can make that burden lighter today—allowing enterprise decision-makers to connect the dots, turn X data into actionable insights, and drive real, measurable change for their businesses. By themselves, the tools can do only so much. Using them as part of a more comprehensive business-focused transformation requires broadervision and leadership. It requires a revolution in how your company views X data, how it leverages information technology, and how its take action to support business goals.

The office of the CIO is uniquely positioned to lead the XM revolution within the enterprise. In many organizations, CIOs are already operating at the forefront when it comes to data sources and analysis for business customers, while also running IT support for areas of the business that are constantly receiving experience feedback from employees. While these CIOs are already using this valuable data, they may not leverage it in more innovative ways and at scale.

Meanwhile, as adoption of XM technologies increases in many areas of the enterprise, leaders within any given business function may not know how to get maximum impact from those tools or how to understand the data. They may fail to bring together X data and operational (O) data to support decision-making. And they likely cannot see across business functions the way a CIO can. Unlike the CIO, they might not be able to recognize leading practices, identify trends and common challenges, see how different stakeholders may require different approaches, and develop a sweeping “overhead view” of the business’s opportunities for improvement, innovation, and growth.

The way forward

Three clear steps will define the IT-led XM journey for the enterprise:

Recognize that X data matters. Don’t undervalue it. It makes O data more valuable, helping to answer the question of why you do what you do, as well as how you do it.

Collect it. It’s a resource that must be tapped—through intentional organizational and operational processes. It’s a prerequisite for meaningful change and for your organization’s ability to pivot.

Incorporate it into your toolset. Use it! Create infrastructure and processes for deploying and connecting XM capabilities across the enterprise, including mechanisms for acting on the insights you get

An IT-led XM revolution is about more than bringing the data and insights to the surface for enterprise peers. It’s the CIO’s chance to step far beyond the four walls of the IT organization—to serve as a visionary and to showcase just how critical is to the success of the business. In leading the XM revolution, CIOs can show decisively that they know how to pinpoint painpoints and opportunities, and how to humanize the challenges that the IT organization is looking to solve. 

It’s also a chance for the office of the CIO to showcase a wide range of skills:

• Identifying and solving business problems—from the simple to the complex

• Leading conversations on creating differentiated products, services, and experiences—bringing to bear the deep business acumen that exists within the IT function

• Delivering game-changing tools, data, and insights to more parts of the organization

• Simplifying and scaling IT across the organization

• Acting as an integrator, agitator, and champion—demonstrating the art of the possible while also doing the hands-on work

• Building relationships—leveraging IT’s position between the front office and the backoffice, between HR and customer service, between the teams that develop technology solutions and the business functions that use those solutions

Ultimately, there can be many possible paths for the CIO seeking to lead an XM revolution. Recognizing the opportunity is a crucial first step. Where you go from there depends on the support, the insights, and the results you gather along the way.

Want to know how other CIOs are finding their way forward when it comes to XM and business transformation? Deloitte works daily with industry leaders across the globe to help them turn XM into a driver of new value. Contact us at SAP@deloitte.com to get additional insights that can help you take greater ownership of experience management and take your business to the next level.

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