Rob Curley, Singlepoint’s Managing Director was featured in this month’s TechPro Decisions – Digital Transformation.
Read Rob’s insights about how to get success faster with digital customer experience (CX) projects.
Many organisations look to technology in the early stages of digital transformation journeys. But how do they avoid the pitfalls of complexity and dead ends in their procurement and implementation plans? Paul Hearns from TechPro asks the question.
How to get to success faster with digital CX projects
Customer experience (CX) is one of the year’s biggest business trends, and it is driving growing numbers of companies to deploy and mobile applications like chatbots and self-service portals aimed at delivering a better, more engaging customer journey.
Like many technology projects in years past, implementing these kinds of digital platforms can be a demanding and lengthy undertaking – with all of the risks that brings. There are plug and play software tools that deliver similar functionality, and they’re usually good enough for internal employee use. But for external systems that customers will interact with, large organisations usually prefer to deliver a slicker interface based on a more tailored customer journey, and that means building tailored solutions.
The challenge is that building a bespoke web or mobile application can be complex and costly. Fortunately, it has never been easier to spin up an environment in AWS or Azure, so the days of waiting three months for a server to arrive are gone. But the customer data often resides on the core legacy systems of a business, in its own data centre, so what you end up with is a hybrid system that integrates customer data with the application sitting on the top of that.
In many cases, the bigger challenge with digital programmes is not the technology itself but the organisational processes and culture. There needs to be a customer journey mapping exercise at the start of the project, with the right people in the business involved. In my experience, the key to making these projects successful is to keep the team lean, and start by working on a proof of concept, building and iterating quickly using agile methods, to deliver a functioning prototype within two to three months.
At this stage of the project, it’s about getting a minimum viable product out quickly. Don’t over-engineer the solution; look to automate as much as possible around the design, build and deployment. This is where a DevOps approach brings real benefits. Once the design work happens up front, you develop automated test cases for user interface, testing the frontend functionality or the API.
DevOps automates checking of code from a source code repository to scan it for errors, and then the code is automatically deployed onto a development server. From there it goes to testing for functionality and once it is passed this phase, it is deployed into the next stage environment. As part of the DevOps process, a dashboard report lets the team see if everything is working or highlights where fixes are needed.
Bringing a DevOps approach into a large organisation requires a change of mindset, since many of them are more familiar with manual scripting and testing, but it is highlight transparent. Although there is upfront investment needed for the automation capability, this is soon repaid by the time you reach system tests, integrated tests and most importantly, showing the quality of the system to the business.
In fact, at Singlepoint we developed DAPx in response to seeing those issues in the market. DAPx is a cost-effective pre-built framework that supports agile processes for delivering solutions and services on both cloud and on-premise infrastructures. It enables companies to reduce architecture deployment costs by up to 50%, speeding up application delivery while improving quality and reducing risk.
In a time of greater user expectations, there’s a proven way to deliver high-quality customer-facing applications quickly and effectively: small teams, DevOps, launch and iterate quickly, to get a better result faster.
If you would like to speak with Rob or any of our team, please contact email@example.com