Despite how broadly digital has caught on, efforts at most companies only scratch the surface. Organizations still invariably take a piecemeal approach, for example, focusing on customer-facing initiatives and only occasionally connecting them to back-end processes. New research conducted for us by Forrester Consulting reveals that a more connected approach increases the odds of success.
We tasked Forrester with testing the hypothesis that companies succeeding at digital do so when they focus on customer experience, knitting together processes that span the front, middle and back office. We call this concept enterprise fusion.
Forrester surveyed 517 decision makers involved in enterprise-wide digital initiatives. Its findings? Enterprises that achieve digital fusion, especially compared with companies that deploy digital in pockets, are typically more successful than those that take a one-off, siloed approach (see our infographic, below).
Our research reinforced the notion that prioritizing customer experience is an effective starting point for most things digital. However, challenges typically emerge when organizations focus on overhauling customer-facing functions without modernizing the underlying technology and well as processes and data that powers front-, middle- and back-office operations. For example, many companies launch digital initiatives for commerce and customer relationship management (CRM), but they don’t connect them with finance, HR, product engineering, and the supply chain.
This oversight creates what we call the fusion disconnect. We found that less than 40% of the companies surveyed have aligned internal teams that put customers at the forefront of their digital activities. Just 59% of siloed organizations report having a chief customer experience officer (CCXO) or an equivalent role, while among fused organizations the figure rises to 94%.