Sami Hassanyeh, SVP, Digital Strategy and Membership, AARP
The Competitive Edge
Our goal at AARP is to be multi-channel focused, to create value that can be delivered and improved upon with every interaction that we have with our customers and they have with us. It is critical to have scalable computing power and capabilities. Businesses should also compliment those capabilities (like technical or security) with the right technology-mix (like on-premise or cloud) that aligns with business objectives and better serves the customer.
The challenge is how best to align the two to achieve your desired business result and related benefits.
Whether you are using the Amazon cloud, Adobe Experience Cloud, or Salesforce, ultimately it’s your decisions that will define the outcomes your business is expecting to deliver. Rather than looking at the competing capabilities of solitary technologies, professionals need to make the right decision in marrying their objectives to a complimentary technology in order to gain a competitive edge.
Trends in the Market
The ever-increasing speed of the internet will give rise to more integrated, embedded smart devices, and wearable gadgets are going be pervasive in our day to day life.
There’s also a surge in the trend of customers preferring conversational interactions to connect with brands and using voice-based solutions like Alexa and Siri to complete even simple everyday tasks. This development is invariably linked to companies implementing AI and machine learning into a number of business areas and backend tools and processes.
But moving forward, end users are also expecting companies to leverage these newer technologies to safeguard their private data, and that is both a trend and concern for companies.
Security is Paramount
Security is everyone’s responsibility in an organization; its accountability is not restricted to security or IT teams alone. Whether it’s just an email or a file stored in the cloud, we are all responsible for making sure that we use the data in the right way. Educating your staff and everyone up and down the chain about data security and privacy is now inextricably linked to your corporate agenda. It’s more of a cultural shift than allotting the responsibility to one particular person. It has to be built into everything that you do—by design and as part of your entire business model.
The Changing Role of IT
I do think that IT organizations are evolving and advancing their capabilities to align with the marketing trends. So the question here is: How do you build security, integrity, and data intelligence into a service layer that will allow businesses to offer a better experience?
For organizations just wanting to kickoff projects to build a silver bullet or a shiny object, this approach isn’t going to serve their business well. My advice to CIOs would be: Service-enable your platforms while centrally maintaining business rules, security, and data integrity so that the organization can take advantage of those capabilities. Organizational agility is a competitive edge and the IT organization must provide technology that improves execution velocity and supports experimentation to deliver a superior customer experience. Customer experience is an evolving journey of continuous optimization and having a technology stack that supports this mindset is critical to success.
While you have to stay up-to-date with the trends in the market, try not to implement everything but the solutions that deliver value for the organization and your customers. Here, experimentation can help. In order to improve your capabilities, you have to be diligent and talk to other organizations to gain feedback and insights. Also, the voice of the customer is critical. Ultimately, is your technology stack aligned with organizational needs and your customer expectations?