Moussalam Dalati, General Manager in the Middle East at Liferay, sheds light on the importance of adopting digital transformation in businesses, while keeping the customer at the heart of the process.
In recent times, digital transformation has become more important than ever as businesses strive to transform and adapt to the ever-changing landscape and new customer expectations. In the past few years, the rate of technological development in the region has grown exponentially, particularly in the UAE as the country works towards enhancing technological advancement while working towards the 2071 Centennial Vision. Overall, in the past year, many industries experienced a radical growth of digitalization and discovered new challenges along the way. Since 2020, businesses in the Middle East are facing a unique challenge: to survive and compete in the wake of the changes brought about by the global health crisis. COVID-19 has acted as a catalyst, accelerating the adoption and configuration of technologies, as companies focused on navigating the new normal of business. Adopting smarter ways of working, robust technologies, and mechanisms to understand customer needs, changed from being “nice-to-have” to “must-have” practices.
The changes in the digital landscape have led to changes in customer expectations. We have realized that providing a seamless customer experience while increasing efficiency is crucial. As a result, companies emphasize leveraging their capabilities to organize work processes and systems to cater to the customers’ various needs, allowing them to survive and succeed in the current business scenario. By engaging in digital transformation, companies can respond to customer needs and provide a seamless, unified customer experience. To effectively implement this transformation, businesses can benefit from adopting Digital Experience Platforms (DXPs), which allows them to integrate their processes and provide a cohesive customer experience.
The Path to Digital Transformation
Digital transformation involves rethinking the business model or process in response to the emergence of digital technology. Since it applies technologies that ultimately transform the way business is done, it requires coordination and synergy across the entire organization’s different functions. Adopting digital transformation can enable a company to gain a competitive edge as it enhances customer experience. A recent research survey by IBM reports that, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses are planning to make permanent changes to their organizational strategy. According to the study, 91% of surveyed UAE executives plan to engage in platform-based business models, recognizing the importance of re-orienting their processes and exploring new avenues. Businesses that aim to initiate digital transformation and build resilience in their enterprise recognize that the customer is at the center of this change. At present, the customers are increasingly aware of new market trends and products and seek offerings that best fit their expectations and buying behaviour. It is up to businesses to use new technological capabilities and organizational change to create experiences that adapt to customers’ changing needs. Understanding the customer’s unique needs and buying journey is essential to drive customer engagement and satisfaction. By engaging in digital transformation, businesses can provide a unified customer experience.
Unified Customer Experience
As a result of the pandemic and the digitalization of businesses, organizations have witnessed a shift in customers’ behaviours, priorities and preferences. Now, more than ever, customers are spoiled for choice and have a multitude of options to choose from. Customer expectations are rising as they are demanding more from businesses and are prioritizing trust, loyalty, and simplicity. Therefore, companies are looking for ways to deliver a convenient and seamless customer experience to stand out in the current competitive situation. Businesses should strive to make each customer experience personal and stay relevant throughout the customer’s journey. As they work to create a cohesive and consistent customer experience, businesses must bring their functions together on a unified digital platform that can host multiple systems. By using an agile and flexible platform, businesses increase operational efficiency, employee productivity, and ultimately, deliver unmatched customer experiences across various touchpoints. Furthermore, as the modern customer becomes more digitally conscious and expects more from businesses, the one size fits all method is no longer a viable option. Instead, creating personalized experiences is essential to satisfy customers and maintain relationships with them.
Digital Experience Platforms
True transformation is seen as creating innovation in both how customers are treated and how businesses function. Digital Experience Platforms (DXP) are uniquely equipped to address this wide variety of needs. DXPs provide an architecture for companies to digitize business operations, deliver connected customer experiences, and obtain actionable customer insight. Integration across different functions and platforms can enhance collaboration and streamline operations so that customers can receive a unified and personalized experience as well. This software can consolidate internal systems and empower companies to use analytics, customer engagement scores, and personalization to match the customer’s individual expectations. Using a Digital Experience Platform such as Liferay DXP, businesses can personalize each customer interaction, and utilize tools and analytics to understand customer behaviour and segment users based on their preferences.
To emerge as a proactive, resilient, and successful enterprise in the dynamic current and future economic landscape, organizations are actively working towards digital transformation as it enables them to reimagine their business and build themselves for change.