Three trends topped the list of most businesses’ priority lists in 2017: customer centricity, digital transformation and cloud. While many companies are still grappling with how to approach these issues, they need to do so quickly as those who embrace these three trends are set for success in 2018 and beyond.
Most businesses store essential information in various silos, making it impossible to get a complete view of the customer because there is always some information missing. An employee could see a customer’s purchase history in the enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, or a record of their interactions in the customer relationship management (CRM) system, but they can’t see all that information in one place in real time.
Microsoft is changing the way enterprises think about traditional CRM by providing the tools to make it part of the digital journey. Using Microsoft Dynamics 365’s omnichannel and social engagement functionalities, companies can communicate with customers via their preferred channel, including social media. A digital CRM platform also allows organisations to build and maintain relationships with customers based on their preferences. This allows them to provide a seamless interaction through multiple channels to ensure a better experience that meets the customer’s needs the first time.
To get digital transformation right, companies should start with an enterprise strategic review (ESR) to understand how the current situation of their business compares to their desired state. Once they have done this, organisations can create a virtual environment where geographic location and time zones are no longer a barrier. They can also deliver the flexibility people demand – work is no longer a destination, it’s merely an activity that people expect to be able to do from anywhere. In addition, digital transformation projects help companies strike a balance between user demands, available technology, and business goals. Businesses should only choose technology that serves the business goals as opposed to implementing technology just because it’s new or interesting. Understanding all the different permutations and possibilities is where an ESR can really make a difference.
Having the right technology platform plays a key role in propelling a company’s transformation journey. For most organisations, the most practical and cost-effective way to access the solutions they need is via the cloud.
There are three ways moving to the cloud increases employee productivity and business performance. First, putting business productivity solutions and data in the cloud means that employees can be productive from anywhere at any time. Secondly, when business tools like CRM are in the cloud, employees can access the information and functionalities they need to run the business from anywhere. Finally, cloud-based tools let workers collaborate instantly, so they can contribute to projects regardless of their location. Products like Microsoft SharePoint make it even easier to share information and collaborate across geographical distances.
When choosing a cloud-based technology platform, organisations should look for one that will help them to improve business processes, build business efficiency, lower costs with ERP, engage customers, gain insights, and keep data safe and secure. Moving to the cloud isn’t always as simple as ‘lift and shift’. It can take careful planning and a strategic approach to make sure that move is seamless, successful, and, above all, non-disruptive. This is why companies need the right partner to help them on this journey.
Regardless of the technology a business uses, security must remain paramount. The cybersecurity threat is escalating, so it’s important to choose technology that has been architected from the ground up with security as a core feature.
At DXC Eclipse, we work with companies to assess their current business systems, processes and readiness to transition to the Microsoft Cloud. The team then focuses on handling the business risks, optimising IT and managing the integration, security, and new technical and operational opportunities available in the Microsoft Cloud.
Paul Timmins is global director for Microsoft at DXC Technology