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9 out of 10 IT leaders name customer experience as their top priority, according to the latest Salesforce research

Posted on: May 30, 2019

In May, Salesforce have published their “Enterprise Technology Trends 2019”* report based on a survey taken by 100+ leaders of enterprise IT organisations from Europe, North America, and Asia-Pacific.

The results are consistent with those outlined in our recent article about enterprise connectivity challenges – IT leaders are feeling more pressure in 2019 than ever before. Despite the fact that IT projects demand is estimated to increase by 32% this year, the majority of IT leaders will only see their budget increase of less than 10%.**

With so much on their plates, how IT organisations will be juggling their limited resources?

In this summary, we will take a deeper look at the top 3 technology trends, that enterprise IT leaders have named as their key priorities. For the full Salesforce “Enterprise Technology Trends 2019“ research, please follow this link.


Priority No. 1 – Customer Experience

Today, no one would argue that “customer experience is the King” as more and more often we come across announcements such as Coca-Cola is digitally transforming to embrace their customer-centred innovations, or McDonald’s are launching their project towards an omnichannel experience. There are multiple examples of initiatives like this, and it has brought us to the point where the trend-setting giants like Netflix, Unilever, Siemens, General Electric, and many more, you name it – have raised the customers’ expectations to a whole new level. For others, this means that cutting-edge customer experiences aren’t just a nice-to-have anymore, they’ve become essential for all companies wanting to stay in the game.

Indeed, according to the research, 77% of IT leaders are increasing investment in the customer experience. Although budget constraints might be the first thing springing to mind as a major roadblock, in fact, these initiatives are more commonly derailed by legacy systems and disconnected data.

Concepts such as the Single Customer View (360° customer view, integrated customer view), cannot be accomplished without laying down the right foundation first. Accordingly, systems and data integration rank as the top customer experience technology initiatives making enterprise systems connectivity a number one job.

Priority No. 2 – Security and Trust

For decades, cybersecurity was an obvious concern for any kind of business, whether in regards to customers’ data or sensitive internal matters of organisations. And still, recent years have shown that even market-leading companies were not immune to data leaks and non-authorised interventions.

Companies like Facebook, FIFA, and British Airways are still recovering from recent events, and even if it’s not the end of the world for huge enterprises like this, their customers’ and business partners’ trust won’t be gained back in one night, meaning huge losses for the time being.

Moreover, EU related business went through a shockwave caused by the latest GDPR (European Union’s General Data Protection) regulations.

This also reflects in the report, as 95% of IT leaders claim that public concern over data privacy has prompted them to increase their security investments, and 88% of the respondents are also worried about the GDPR.

Being such an imperative part of any IT organisation, cybersecurity is still causing headaches to many leaders, and even if 42% say their security and trust policy is completely defined, that leaves us with the majority of companies in a “somewhat defined” stage.

There are plenty of aspects to be taken into consideration when it comes to data and systems security, whether in an on-premise or cloud-based environment, but there are some principles that can be implemented across the board. For instance, an API-led connectivity approach to overarching system architecture promotes the introduction of layers of abstraction and control between the mission-critical legacy systems, that are rigorously governed and independent from each other, and the front-end exposed to developers, unlocking corporate data and assets. By using APIs for internal and external integrations, companies can manage access rights, monitor data consumption and introduce additional levels of security around their systems.

 

Priority No. 3 – System Integration

We touched on system integration while talking about customer experience above but even though it is a must-have when implementing customer-centric projects, system integration in itself is a whole separate topic.

Apart from enabling a Single Customer View, integration also remarkably increases the efficiency of the business. When all systems are seamlessly connected and “talking” to each other – repetitive and manual work is instantly reduced.

Moreover, new applications or initiatives can immediately leverage the benefits of the data in the connected domain by eliminating the need to create additional silos of data, and reducing overall future development effort.

Integration shouldn’t come as an afterthought, in Ricston experience, when done right, system integration leads to improved business processes, speeds up time-to-market and opens up new monetisation channels. For instance, Air Malta embarked on a Digital Transformation journey, setting customer experience and systems integration as high priorities for their digital strategy, and in less than 2 years announced staggering financial results.

Air Malta recently reported profitability for the first time after two decades, growing operating revenue by €5.3 million to €197.5 million in the last fiscal year. Technology investment has been a critical driver of this success,said Alan Talbot, CIO of Air Malta.

95% of IT leaders report using at least one technology for data or system integration, yet most organisations still have a long way to go. As the latest MuleSoft research revealed, the average number of individual applications in use in large enterprises is close to 900, and the percentage of those that are connected or integrated is only 29%.

As Ricston CTO Kevin Jervis pointed out: Modern businesses need to understand that IT should focus not just on delivering projects to service immediate needs, but on building a composable platform within their organisation that supports both current and future requirements.

Adopting new technology for systems integration is only the first step to a successful transformation and needless to say – a significant investment. In order to maximize ROI, one has to make sure that technology is continuously used in an optimal, efficient way and all features are properly utilised.

 

In order to decrease the financial burden of technology modernisation, some governments have even introduced a number of support initiatives, for instance, the R&D Tax Relief scheme in the UK.

We hope that this article has given you a good overview of the latest trends in enterprise IT. If you wish to receive more updates like this in the future, please subscribe to our monthly newsletter (in the footer).


* Source: Salesforce.com, Inc

** Connectivity Benchmark Report, MuleSoft, February 2019


About Salesforce

Salesforce, the global CRM leader, empowers companies to connect with their customers in a whole new way. For more information about Salesforce, visit www.salesforce.com.

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Anastasiia Linnas
Marketing Manager