Digital Experience: Application Priorities for CIOs in 2023

Making sure that you have the right components in place to provide your company with the best functionality possible is more important than ever. As covid changed the landscape of how we live, work, and conduct business, technology has been the glue keeping everyone connected through unprecedented times. As we have navigated through these past few years and are discovering a new pattern of normalcy, it’s clear the technological capabilities put in place aren’t going anywhere. Instead, it’s advancing at a pace never before seen. As associations move forward, software applications must reflect the times by staying up-to-date and relevant.  

In this three-part blog series, we’re going to review recent InfoTech research that suggests which applications you should prioritize when it comes to reaching your business goals and objectives in 2023. Part One will cover why offering an excellent digital experience is important. From websites and mobile apps to social media content, and smart devices, there are plenty of ways to provide a robust digital experience to your customers, partners, and employees.  

Digital Experience happens when interaction occurs between a user and an organization through digital products and services. Digital products are considered tools, systems, devices, and resources designed to gather store, and process data.  

There are four key attributes that need to be considered when exploring your digital experience plan:  

1. Customer Experience  

How does the customer perceive the transactions and interactions throughout their journey as they use your organization’s digital products and services?  

2. Member Experience  

What have been the members’ emotions, beliefs, and responses – both physical and psychological - before, during, and after interacting with your digital product or service? 

3. Brand Experience 

Do you know the broader perceptions, emotions, thoughts, feelings, and actions that the wider industry and the general public have of your organization’s brand and reputation or its products and services? Keep in mind that this is something that evolves over time as customers continue to engage with your brand.  

4. Employee Experience 

From recruitment and hiring to the time of departure, are your employees satisfied with their experience at your company? This can influence how they embody and promote the brand and can affect performance, trust, respect, and their drive to innovate and optimize. 

The bottom line is that digital transformation doesn’t just mean new tools and technologies, it’s also about delivering a valuable digital experience for everyone involved. This means implementing good management, governance, and operational practices to accommodate stakeholder, employee, customer, and member expectations of digital experiences. Technologies should be chosen based on what best enables, delivers, and supports these expectations. 

It’s important to remember that digital products and services need to keep pace with the inevitable changes that come with business and member needs while also supporting your strategic objectives with continuous modernization. This can happen by focusing on the characteristics that drive business value. These include: 

  • Fit for purpose: Functionalities are designed and implemented for the purpose of satisfying the member’s needs and solving their problems. 
  • User-centric: Members see the association’s products as rewarding, engaging, intuitive, and emotionally satisfying. They want to come back to it. 
  • Adaptable: The product can be quickly tailored to meet changing end-user and technology needs with reusable and customizable components. 
  • Accessible: The product is available on demand and on the end user’s preferred interface. Members have a seamless experience across all devices. 
  • Private and secured: The member’s activity and data are protected from unauthorized access. 
  • Informative and insightful: The product delivers consumable, accurate, and trustworthy real-time data that is important to the members and their industry. 
  • Seamless application connection: The product facilitates direct interactions with one or more other products through an uninterrupted user experience. 
  • Relationship and network building: The product enables and promotes the connection and interaction of people. 

Why Consider Digital Experience Applications 

Organization Modernization 

Legacy processes, systems, and ways of working are no longer meeting strategic digital objectives and digital experience needs. Instead, they drive up operational costs without offering the necessary benefits. Focusing on digital tools and technologies will expose these challenges while also demonstrating the importance of modernizing your digital strategy.  

Brand and Reputation 

It’s undeniable that members and customers are swayed by the innovations and advancements in digital technologies. Therefore, they expect your applications team to deliver and support them. When association leaders recognize how important these expectations are, they’ll want to begin integrating them into their business strategy and brand in hopes that it will improve and shape the association’s reputation as effective, customer-focused, and forward-thinking. 

Worker Productivity 

Evolving and adopting more complex tools and technologies means higher expectations from both business units and IT teams. Teams that employ manual processes and legacy systems will struggle to meet these expectations. On the flip side, digital products and services promote the simplification of complex operations and applications. This helps the business, and its teams better align operational practices with strategic goals and deliver valuable digital experiences. 

Benefits of Digital Experience

  • Employees, members, and customers can choose how they want to access, modify, and consume digital products and services. They can be tailored to meet the specific functional needs, behaviors, and habits of the end user. 
  • The customer, member, brand, and employee drive the selection, design, and delivery of digital products and services. Even the most advanced technologies will fail if key roles do not see the value in their use. 
  • Digital products and services are delivered with technical quality built into them, ensuring they meet the industry, regulatory, and company standards throughout their lifespan and in various conditions. 

Risks of Digital Experience

  • Some stakeholders may not be willing to change due to their familiarity and comfort of business practices. 
  • Competing and conflicting priorities of strategic products and services undermine digital transformation and broader modernization efforts. 
  • Business processes are often burdened by wasteful activities. Digital products and services are only as valuable as the processes they support. 
  • The performance and support of your digital products and services are hampered due to unmanageable technical debt because of a deliberate decision to bypass or omit quality good practices. 

Getting Started with Digital Experience

Building a digital business strategy that clearly articulates the goals and ambitions of your business to adopt digital practices, tools, and technologies is a great way to jumpstart your digital experience journey. During this process, you’ll want to identify what technologies are worth embracing, what processes need to be automated, and which new business models need to be created. In doing so, you will unify digital possibilities with your customer experiences, establish accountability with the executive leadership, and clearly show the importance of cross-functional participation from senior management across the organization. 

In an effort to create a better product or service, it’s important to understand the needs of your members and employees. This will help make better decisions when it comes to the software development lifecycle along with the management and governance practices supporting digital products and services. Both ensure that quality standards and controls are consistently upheld while maintaining alignment with various needs and priorities. The goal is to come to a consensus on a universal definition and approach to embed quality and digital experience-thinking throughout the delivery process. 

By instilling collaborative delivery practices, you’re able to set the activities, channels, and relationships needed to deliver a valuable and quality product or service with cross-functional awareness, accountability, and agreement. This will help alleviate the mounting pressure that often occurs for delivery teams to release new features and changes quickly and with sufficient quality. Finally, never forget that modernization is a continuous process. Digital products and services gradually lose their value. However, data-driven insights help decision-makers decide which products and services to retire, upgrade, retrain on, or maintain to meet the demands of the business.  

Wrapping IT Up 

Digital products and services have become increasingly important in providing users with an experience that keeps them engaged and connected. Therefore, it's essential for businesses to ensure their digital products and services continuously remain user-centric, and adaptable in order to drive value. Our Software Assessment is a great way to help you make informed decisions about your applications. It provides you with critical feedback from your employees to help you decide which tools and applications to retire, upgrade, re-train on, or maintain. Want to learn more? Click here and let’s get started! 

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