Anthony Baker, Executive Technology Director, R/GA
The exponential change of the digital landscape is rapidly outpacing the speed of business. Evolving consumer behaviors are radically changing the relationships between consumers and brands. According to PWC Consumer Intelligence CX 2019 survey, up to 75% of consumers say they don’t get the experience they expect.
Lean cloud architectures can turbocharge better human-centric customer experiences and drive business growth. As the PWC report states, people are willing to pay up to 16% more for a great experience, and 63% would share more data in exchange for greater value. In order to create better experiences and unlock new business growth opportunities, companies need to break free from monolithic and proprietary enterprise solutions.
The Innovation Challenge
As digital ecosystems evolve into more dynamic and complex consumer environments, new technology stacks are rapidly disrupting traditional established solutions. Disrupting players have become the new sources of innovation—from specialized boutique companies generating breakthroughs in machine learning, social interactions, computer vision, and natural language understanding, to cloud technology giants offering a whole new generation of streamlined and intelligent services, with near-infinite capacity and self-managed capabilities.
In tandem, business models are also being challenged. The new model is now on-demand, always-on, with real-time scalability and no-upfront commitment. This has transformed the way solutions are designed, built, integrated, and tested, enabling a leaner and faster approach to continuous innovation in consumer services.
These factors carry the promise of greater consumer experiences and new business opportunities, with the potential for unlocking growth for the next decade.
The Experience Gap
Despite all technological advances and disrupting consumer behaviors across almost all industries, we still find huge satisfaction gaps between what consumers expect and what companies are able to offer. The PWC report also reveals that across industries like airlines, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, retail, and banking, consumer experience gaps reach twenty to thirty percent dissatisfaction.
Lean cloud architectures can turbocharge better human-centric customer experiences and drive business growth
This translates into a considerable missed opportunity in revenue, and an ongoing source of consumer attrition.
With such a big disconnection in consumer experiences, why are companies not embracing modern technologies and architectures to speed up their ability to provide better and more meaningful value to consumers?
The “Experience Economy” urges businesses to adopt a different B2C approach, but most companies are still struggling with rigid, over-complicated, and expensive software solutions that prove obsolete in terms of adaptability, innovation, and speed. What is more, once established, any radical updates carry more risk than most leaders are willing to take.
Companies need to embrace new sources of innovation, with a leaner approach to technology stacks and architecture, along with a new approach to business innovation. The next three principles aim the provide actionable points to implement a lean cloud stack approach for consumer experiences:
1. Continuous Innovation
Focus on modular cloud stack architectures that enable continuous iteration of services while effectively learning, understanding, and integrating consumer feedback. Loosely coupled, API-driven system’s design allows for mitigated risk and faster time to market of new services within the digital ecosystem. Avoid any solutions that don’t offer standard and secure API endpoints or require proprietary integration.
2. Less is More
Take a lean approach to digital platforms to enable digital acceleration. Look for opportunities to leverage managed infrastructure and services to break free from operational and maintenance vendor contracts and investments. Look for headless content management solutions that promote effective content infrastructure practices. Integrate modern data orchestration platforms that can take data from any source and react in real-time to user behavior and look for intelligent asset management solutions that leverage computer vision and machine learning to maximize content creation. Avoid reinventing the wheel for commoditized needs and stay away from solutions that lock you into a single suite of products.
3. Embrace New Open Source Tech
Move away from proprietary, monolithic solutions by embracing new services and platforms that are easily integrated via standard open source technologies and platforms. This speeds up finding and retaining talent while accelerating time to market by focusing efforts on lean integration layers that can combine better solutions. Any solution that forces you or your partners to train teams on proprietary programming languages or tools will divert investment and effort from the real needs and opportunities.
As technology enables a more dynamic interaction between brands and consumers, seize the opportunity within the widening experience gap. Break free from established solutions and focus effort and investments in what really matters: creating better experiences for consumers that deliver a clear and relevant value proposition, unlocking business growth in the long run, with faster time to market and lower up-front investments.