How Businesses Can Achieve End-to-End Digital Service Delivery in 2021

ANDREW AVANESSIAN

Author: Andrew Avanessian, COO at AppLearn

Almost a year ago, the world was turned upside down as countries across the globe locked down to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus. This saw businesses switch to remote working in a matter of days and weeks, deploying new applications and collaboration tools to enable the continued flow of work.

The digital transformation that has since followed has been unprecedented. Organizations are now using more applications and collaboration tools than ever. However, the pace at which businesses have transformed and the volume of applications rolled out has greatly impacted the user experience. Support within these applications is often fragmented and sub-optimal, and the impact this can have on a business’ ability to achieve an ‘end-to-end’ goal is huge.

In a recent AppLearn survey, only 11% of respondents felt they have or are close to achieving end-to-end digital service delivery. Software users are nine times more likely to avoid issues, or resolve them on their own when they can access self-help in the “flow of work.”

So, what can businesses do to ensure they do not fall into this trap?

Rethink the Technology Support Experience

The future of technology support needs to be highly personalized, proactive, and pre-emptive – all delivered within the flow of work – an end state where businesses and users don’t even have to think about support. Instead, they can rely on data and automation to identify potential issues, deploy solutions, and resolve employee and customer issues before the organization even notices.

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According to Pegasystems, employees are now using up to 35 applications to complete a process or task and switch between these over 1,000 times every day. Many of these applications come with siloed knowledgebases, bots, helpdesks, and support experiences, which can interrupt work flow. A lack of cohesion across these applications makes it harder for businesses to create a unified, frictionless user journey and achieve the visibility needed to achieve the end-to-end goal.

As investment in new technology continues to grow, global digital service leaders will need a holistic approach to process completion. The industry needs to move towards a place where businesses don’t even have to think about support and can rely on data and automation to identify potential issues, deploy solutions and resolve issues for users and customers alike before the organization even notices.

Start with the End in Mind

Most organizations don’t start with the end in mind. Instead, they look at things in a “point solution” manner. This way of thinking leads to disparate, loosely connected processes, with one thing guaranteed – a poor user experience. Business leaders also try to solve the challenges of using multiple applications by using things like legacy support systems, knowledgebase, classroom training, and support desks.

As a model, this doesn’t work and can result in consistent frustration from users, vast amounts of time lost to inefficient ways of working, and lack of visibility for business leaders.

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To move away from this, organizations need to ask themselves which support channels they use and how effective they are and which metrics are a priority for the business and if they measure end-to-end process completion.

Define Key Measurements of Success

Analyzing how users interact with different applications and the tasks within the end-to-end process is crucial. This should involve looking at what pages users have visited, how long they have spent there, where they looked for support, and the overall outcome. This helps to form a consolidated picture of what points in the user experience can be improved to see a positive impact on time and cost.

Crucially though, this needs to be done cross-platform; otherwise, businesses end up solving only one piece in the puzzle. Typically it is difficult for organizations since each application vendor logs and tracks different information.

To help solve this, businesses should use tools that allow them to measure in minutes and seconds how long it takes a user to complete a business process. Historically, these have been difficult to measure and can be subjective, with some vendors known to obscure this data to mask poor adoption statics. But there are tools available now that make this process much easier and give full visibility of the metrics needed.

Link Key Measures of Success to OKRs

Once the key measures are defined, it is crucial to link these to Objective and Key Results (OKRs). This approach involves mapping user experience data directly onto an organization’s objectives in a single dashboard, allowing them to measure the metrics that matter to them. This will enable businesses to identify and track improvements over time and gain significant visibility into their software investments.

These data points drive actions that increase user efficiency, reduce rework and improve the user experience, which helps software work better for everyone. All of this insight can then be used to drive continuous improvements, which can be tracked over time against business objectives.

Implement Data-Driven Solutions

It’s important to look for a data-driven solution that can be used to identify problem applications, struggling user groups, and inefficient or broken processes. One that goes beyond the usual measurements of logins and widget clicks and focuses on evidencing and optimizing the business value.

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With this level of data, organizations can move from outdated support systems and deliver context-aware, personalized communications and in-app support. This can then lead to increased task efficiency, productivity, and user satisfaction, as well as a reduction in support tickets, process rework, and failed process completion.

2021: The Year to Achieve End-to-End Service Delivery

It’s clear that leaders need to do more to ensure their technology is joined up and does not simply become “shelf ware.” This is the key to removing the barriers, including the lengthy timelines of reaching end-to-end and realizing the desired time and cost savings in 2021 and beyond.

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Andrew is a dynamic and highly motivated self-starter with an innate ability to focus on results. With a wealth of experience in technology, Andrew has honed the rare ability to balance commercial acumen with a deep technical understanding. Being an experienced executive, he has been instrumental in developing strategic focus, operational management, and leadership teams. This has helped his previous employer, Avecto, to achieve rapid growth culminating in a $50 million private equity investment and a $169 million exit.