Digital Convergence: The Perfect Storm

Published: Jan 04, 2018
Author: Tim Stevens

Digital Convergence Blog Series – Part 1

Digital transformation.

There’s probably been no bigger buzzword across industry in the last two years. The race for enterprise digitization is on, and now even early digital resisters are rapidly trying to catch up. If it took a while for people to figure out just what “digital transformation” means, it’s taken even longer for enterprise to get its arms around the right strategy for pulling it off.

Transformation is not the challenge. Nearly everyone acknowledges the need and has jumped on the ship to get there. But the absence of an outcomes-defined, end-to-end strategy has led many to assume that digital transformation is simply a matter of shopping for the right digital solutions to replace the ones they currently have, only to be stymied when adoption of those solutions exposes a broad range of underlying infrastructure and integration problems.

The real challenge is digital convergence—the perfect storm of integration pressures that now exist on everything from network and security to supply chain management and service delivery. No part of the business has been left out of the digital picture, and figuring out how to connect and integrate that ecosystem of emerging digital capabilities is what’s truly keeping CIOs up at night. Digital convergence forces leaders to face a number of pressing questions. How do I architect the right infrastructure to support all of that cutting-edge new tech my company is adopting? How do I automate the right portions of my business? Where does IoT fit in? What do I do with all of that data? How can I stay ahead of my customer’s expectations for customized digital experiences? How do I secure all of those new access points to critical information?

The issues of digital convergence are top of mind for retailers. When it comes to what they value most, retail customers consistently cite predictable service, personalized experiences, and smart recommendations when shopping, whether in store or online. Digital solutions designed to meet those evolving consumer expectations are converging in ways that are radically transforming the retail industry.

Retailers are certainly looking for digital solutions, but they’re also in need of innovation strategies that enable them to deliver these top-priority business outcomes: 

  1. Liquid personalization:  Anticipate the evolving needs of the digitally enabled, mobile shopper through adaptive technology.
  2. Product discovery:  Integrate predictive artificial intelligence and contextual CX to surprise and delight customers with new products, services, and project ideas.
  3. Omnichannel fulfillment:  Deliver faster, more predictable order fulfillment, streamlined from-store shipping, better service scheduling, and shorter wait times.
  4. Predictable revenue –Adopt new revenue models that transform transactions into subscriptions and customers into members. 
  5. Empowered associates –Train and equip employees to be the tech-enabled hub of customer-centric service.

We’ll unpack those priorities across this blog series over the next few days, so stay tuned for the next installment from Ravi Krishnamurthy, Global Lead for Retail, Hospitality and Distribution in Vertical Marketing at Verizon Enterprise Solutions. In the meantime, if you want to know more about digital convergence and how it’s reshaping customer experience, check out our recent webinar on Transforming the Digital Customer Experience.

Tim Stevens is the Global Lead for Vertical Marketing at Verizon Enterprise Solutions.

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