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CIO Review >> Magazine >> September - 2016 issue



The digital boom has ushered in new changes in the expectations of customers. Customers expect real-time delivery status of their purchases, they want offers based on their preferences and assume companies should know about the same. Their expectations are very high, and companies are doing everything, they can to keep them happy. Brands are leveraging the digital space to provide customers with solutions that are cost effective, less time consuming and thus offer a better value proposition. Clearly, the digital economy has changed not just consumers’ behaviour, but also how businesses operate.

Beating legacy systems to stay agile
The new app-based start-ups that are disrupting the market come armed with innovative data analytics models. They use advanced algorithms and have full access to a customer’sinformation to deliver rich real-time experiences. However, traditional companies are struggling to keep pace, as they are saddled with legacy systems, whichdemand high costs for upgradation and maintenance. Also, they find integrating systems cumbersome which cripples cross-leveraging, innovation and exchange of ideas. Business consulting firm Boston Consulting Group pointsout that the Internet economy is expected to grow at an annual rate of 8 percent in some developed marketsand at 18 percent in developing markets,by 2016. With that, companies can no longer afford to ignore writing on the wall or, perhaps, on the mobile screen.

As customers’ experiences become critical to businesses in the digital economy, companies are taking a hard look at their business processes. Besides reinventing business models to ones that can compete with the new crop of companies that are ‘born in the cloud’, businesses are digitizing operations and relying on business platforms to stay agile and competitive.

Several industries including telecom, hospitality, healthcare, retail and manufacturing,among others have seen their business and operating models change completely. The focus is to provide customers a valuable experience through intuitive interfaces, 24x7 availability, personalization, and consistency with zero errors. Of course, these also add to better operational control and less risk.

BPM reinvents itself through operations transformation
Companies need an effective response to the economic change in the environment — one that correlates the way different industries are moving and where traditional transformation approach is in a track that is parallelto themodern. This requires harmonizing business processes with innovative service delivery mechanisms. Or, shall we say, embracing Business Process Management (BPM) in its new avatar.

This latest, slicker version of BPM — aimed to enhance customer experience across all touch-points, creates a seamless delivery process, which also guarantees cost savings and better ROI. Implementing BPM in the digital economy requires a mix of platforms that combine technology and processes. Here, the idea is to conduct an end-to-end process analysis to identify scope for continuous improvement.

Further, traditional process-reengineering methods like Lean and Six Sigma are combined with agile business platforms to improve performance and deliver clear business outcomes. This helps to identify processes that can be automated to save costs and achieve faster time-to-market. Automating and digitizing manual, paper-intensive processes allow companies to collect and process critical customer data and also understand process performance or cost drivers. This helps mitigate risks wherever necessary. The next logical step is to manage customer experience through real-time, in the moment analytics to gauge customers’preferences, satisfaction levels, lifecycle state, churn propensity, etc. to fully capture customer sentiment and feedback.

We must remember that digitizing or re-engineering parts of the business process can prove to bedetrimental to a seamless customer experience. Imagine a great on-boarding process in telecombut a lousy helpline and post service. A robust organization must ensure all functions in the organization is involved in creating a better customer experience.

Exploring delivery models like BPaaS
Organizations need to embrace newer delivery models that offer greater flexibility, scalability and agility.Business Process as a Service, or BPaaS, is a plug-and-play service delivery model that enables companies to be more cost agile, with low CAPEX (capital expenditure)and optimized OPEX (operating expense). The BPaaS approach delivers a pre-configured, flexible and extensible solution, utilizing industry best practices and processes combined with case management system for a complete, end to end solution. This allows companies to reduce spend on infrastructure by employing a pay-as-you-go model.

BPaaS solutions can be quickly deployed and consumed ensuring faster go-to-market and value realization. This also means, companies can stay abreast of the latest technology without having to constantly upgrade legacy systems. Needless to say, companies will no longer have to worry about costly systems integration, given the flexible nature of BPaaS offerings.

The new BPM approach embraces BPaaS delivery models allowing companies to re-architect their operations in countering the increasingly complex global business environment. This not only helps them thrive in an age of digital disruption but also unlock long term business benefits.