Sustainable digital transformation begins with identifying the real problems that employees and customers face in their day-to-day lives and adapting the tools and tech to help them overcome these challenges and keep moving forward. Successful digital leaders know how to combine the boundless power of technology with a strategic purpose. Recently, we spoke with Young Pham, Chief Strategy Officer at CI&T, to discuss how they work with Acquia to transform minimum viable products (MVPs) into full-scale, connected solutions that create continuous growth for global companies. CI&T is a global services provider and multi-time Acquia Partner of the Year winner for their work across North America, Latin America and Asia Pacific. During our discussion, Young explained how Acquia and CI&T are bringing solutions to life sooner by linking all aspects of an experience from inventory to design to data analysis, all the way through to the end customer.
Turning Individual Motivations into Encompassing Customer Journeys
While CI&T serves a variety of enterprise clients around the world, in industries like financial services, life sciences, retail and healthcare, they recognize that every vertical has its own specific audience to address when embarking on a digital transformation project. CI&T shapes each strategy and process around the main motivations and desires of these individual customers. “A financial services customer may start out looking for an easier way to manage their personal banking or investment portfolios, while someone engaging with a healthcare provider could want to answer the essential question of ‘how do I live with my recent chronic diagnosis,’” said Young. “These types of motivators need to be ingrained into the foundation of your customer experience strategy, and we work by analyzing the journey from the customer’s perspective to ensure that it feels relevant and aligned to their objective.”
If businesses want to leave an impact and generate real results, they need to start their digital transformation at the end point first and work backwards to make sure all their solutions serve this ultimate goal. Knowing what drives each customer requires central access to effective analytics and data tools. Data can reveal the type of messaging and behaviors that customers respond to and dictate how businesses should create personalized experiences to keep customers engaged across all points in their journey. Once they’ve gathered that data and context, CI&T uses tools like Acquia Personalization to help clients craft communication with different audience segments and strengthen the relationship with customers over time. “You can’t just throw technology at a problem to fix it. You have to go back and gather insights from your personalization efforts and keep adjusting and changing rules over time as you see what works and what doesn’t,” said Young.
With a recent financial services client, CI&T was able to deliver a more highly personalized experience for customers in just a few months by employing Acquia’s low-code solutions. The combination of Acquia Personalization and Site Studio allowed their team to rapidly iterate and adjust their personalization strategy based on a customer’s real-time behaviors, so they could identify new opportunities and tailor specific offers and cross-sell opportunities. “Today’s average financial service customer has multiple financial relationships, whether that’s handling their mobile banking, inquiring about home equity and loans or business investments. Enterprises need to tie all these roles together into a connected journey that can expand business potential as that customer moves from one opportunity to the next. “Digital transformation isn’t a single event, and businesses need technology that can move quickly and evolve their delivery model to meet the moment and ladder up as their business operations scale. We believe successful digital efforts are ones that escalate, not just a promise to create a single solution two years out.” With digital timelines accelerating quicker than ever, CI&T believes that technology that is open and extensible to build upon itself is key to staying competitive and relevant.
Mastering The Totality of Experience for Both Employees and Customers
The idea of connected experiences both online and off becomes even more important as many businesses, schools and workplaces begin to plan how they will move forward in a post-COVID-19 environment. Customer expectations and business processes all had their expectations turned on their heads and their digital transformation timelines truncated as a result of the pandemic, with many markets such as retailers shifting to a nearly 100% digital commerce model practically overnight. However, digital alone is not enough to sustain a successful business (just as completely in-person isn’t). “Businesses need to develop complementary structures that ladder up to their digital operations and correlate to those experiences,” said Young.
Creating a balanced, multichannel customer journey depends on ensuring that all departments and employees have the same access to customer insights and knowledge of a customer’s previous history with a brand. “Everything from inventory management to manufacturing demand to customer service reps on the floor need to be integrated, so they can work together to deliver that promise of that seamless experience,” explained Young. Realizing this goal requires businesses to simplify complexity for both their employees and customers through communication and data integration across all channels and platforms. Every worker from the factory to web operations should have a full view of the customer.
Everything from inventory management to manufacturing demand to customer service reps on the floor need to be integrated, so they can work together to deliver that promise of that seamless experience.
“With our clients, we treat the employee experience and customer experience as parts of the same whole and consider it the experience of a specific end user. Both internal and external users need the right technology to fulfill their specific end goals, and we want all parts and platforms to speak to each other.”
Orchestrating and Open and Composable Ecosystem
The idea of a unified platform that continues to expand its potential and adapt to serve a new purpose or mission as it arises is why CI&T and Acquia believe in the power of open source technology like Drupal to promote innovation. In Drupal founder Dries Buytaert’s most recent report, “Who sponsors Drupal development? (2019-2020 edition)”, CI&T was ranked as one of the top 10 organizations that contribute to Drupal. “The community-driven innovation of the Drupal community and the greater availability of developer talent and plug-ins is becoming more appealing to enterprises that need to continually build new value and move fast,” said Young. “Open platforms along with the adoption of the cloud allow for more integration and helps connect all sides of experiences in a more orchestrated way, and that’s why we’re seeing less of a monopoly of closed, proprietary tech stacks in favor of open source technology.”
CI&T recommends Acquia’s Open Digital Experience Platform (DXP) to enterprise clients as a best of both worlds solution that can handle the security and hosting capabilities for large, regulated companies while still offering the cohesiveness of a completely unified platform. “Digital initiatives can't exist as standalone projects. We're designing customer-centric journeys that show the connected experience. It's vital that we are better at connecting these services,” said Young. The challenges that businesses are facing today cannot be solved by buying single point solutions. There needs to be agility and mobility built across all lines of business, so different technology pieces can be rearranged at will and combined to form a composable ecosystem.
An open DXP presents the opportunity to remain agile and constantly innovating by adding new capabilities, lines of business and channels as business operations scale. “Companies can no longer approach digital transformation as a series of one-off, technology-led projects. You’re not going to create better experiences by adding disconnected systems like a new CRM or sales platform to your stack. Without the flexibility of a composable architecture, businesses won’t be able to realize the full potential of what they might accomplish in the future.”
Learn more about how Acquia and CI&T are implementing compelling and unified digital strategies in their whitepaper: Driving Positive Business Outcomes in Finserv.