IT Investment cashes in with digital dividends

Xavier Martin
June 12, 2023

Investing in operations, customers and employees is required to reap digital dividends and tangible business outcomes.

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The hubbub of the bustling office has given way to the transient workforce that ebbs and flows depending on employees need to be in the office. Organisations are trying to find the right balance back to some form of “business as usual”, as they navigate today’s global challenges including cyberattacks, inflation, an energy crisis, sustainability, customer loyalty and employee retention. While some of these challenges may be more familiar than others, company executives recognise the potential negative impact that ‘doing nothing’ could have on performance and operations.

To help enterprises through these uncharted waters, we believe they need to focus on three priorities: operational excellence, customer experience and employee experience. We are confident that investing in communications and collaboration solutions in these areas will ultimately deliver the digital dividends and tangible business outcomes enterprises need to take their organisations into the new digital age communications era.

Let’s take a moment consider the three priorities previously mentioned. When we talk about operational excellence, what we’re talking about are the elements you need to really optimise your operational model, budgets and processes. This has created an opportunity to consider or re-consider things like:

Automation and simplification to help IT leaders save money by reducing the cost of tasks that can be automated by leveraging robotic process automation (RPA) solutions, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and cloud-based architectures

Security and resiliency to address increasing cyber threats. Businesses are being driven to make significant investments in solutions that protect their key assets, ensure resiliency and enable them to cope with everchanging regulatory laws

Budget optimisation, where a shift towards Operational Expenditure (OpEx) models can help with predictability, flexibility, scalability and control

Eco-sustainability, where technology has a role in helping in core areas such as energy reduction, waste management and the circular economy

From a customer experience perspective, we’re talking about making a shift from traditional customer experience management to customer satisfaction management. Social media has changed us forever. A floodgate of new conversational styles and channels has been unleashed and there is no going back.

As organisations move toward taking the customer experience to the next level, they need to think about how to manage the 360° customer view with more cohesive, timely, relevant and meaningful interactions.

And as we move beyond “Press 1 for … press 2 for…”, voicebots and voice recognition will have an increasing role to play. Their expanding scope of “responsibilities” as they become smarter, is creating an opportunity for organisations to rethink the balance between assisted and self-service.

Integral to the customer experience is sentiment analysis. It’s next to impossible to respond to a customer issue if you don’t understand the nuance of the concern. Sentiment analysis is about interpreting what’s behind the natural language. We know that emotions are foundational to any customer experience, so technology that can provide insights can only take customer excellence to the next level.

It’s also important to note the customer experience is not just the responsibility of the people on the front line. The customer relationship needs to extend into the entire enterprise where it must be understood by all employees. Additionally, it goes beyond the traditional phone call to the ‘help’ line. As technology expands so too have the avenues into an organisation. Today’s omnichannel access means customers can connect based on their engagement preference. The challenge arises in an organisations ability to respond in a cohesive manner with disparate information. The good news is, technology, and in particular, AI, is reshuffling the deck in the field of customer relationship management.

Now last, but certainly not least, we can’t forget about the employee experience. Anyone who’s been in the workforce over the last few years has experienced some serious challenges. As we move into the digital age communications era, significant efforts are being made to create new and attractive digital workplaces, enabling everyone to work from anywhere with efficient applications, and flexibility for a better work-life balance.

This new direction requires organisations to reinvent the workplace and to reshape the workspace. Digital services and applications to help employees perform will be required. Fostering innovation and achievement will be key to attracting and retaining talent.

So now, you’re probably wondering about the ‘digital dividends and tangible business outcomes’ we started talking about at the beginning of all this. IT investment in enterprise communications and collaboration to improve operational excellence will reap the rewards of cost reduction, automation, improved security and make its mark in the battle for eco-sustainability. An enriched customer experience will pay itself back many times over in customer loyalty. And if you truly believe that employees are your most important asset, then creating a digital workplace that reflects the lifestyle choices of today’s workforce is an investment any organisation will be willing to make.

Check out our Digital Dividends web page to learn how we are helping organisations move toward the digital age communications era.

Xavier Martin

Xavier Martin

Vice President, Market Development, Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise

Xavier Martin is Vice President, Market Development at Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise. In this role, he leads the Solution Marketing and Business Intelligence team for the Communications Business Division. 

Xavier has more than 25 years of management experience in the software solutions industry, including business intelligence and customer service. In 2013, he published “Make It Personal”, a book that explains how organizations can leverage technology and consumer-led transformation to enter a new era of enterprise communications, heralding what it’s nowadays known as Digital Transformation.

Xavier has a Master’s degree in Telecom and Computer Sciences from Supinfo, Paris, France.

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