Enterprises Continue to Invest in Digital Solutions



The skyrocketing growth of customer data, as well as the need to deliver more personalized experiences, is fueling continued investments in digital experience solutions, led by spending in analytics and multichannel solutions, according to a recent Forrester survey.

Survey participants said that investing in analytics is a major priority, with 56 percent saying that they plan to use solutions that include Web, social, predictive, behavioral, and mobile analytics over the next 24 months. Despite that desire, the survey found that only 37 percent of decision makers felt that they are properly staffed to carry out such initiatives.

Some other top priorities in spending over the next 24 months include Web content management (34 percent), customer relationship management (30 percent), e-commerce (24 percent), mobile app development tools (24 percent), and social networking platforms (18 percent).

The survey also found that in order to aggregate and analyze customer data across all channels, decision makers are increasingly focusing on multichannel solutions, which include the traditional Web, mobile Web, and mobile apps.

In prioritizing spending on channels, 59 percent of those surveyed cited mobile Web for tablets, and 56 percent named mobile Web for non-tablet mobile devices, such as smartphones, as important areas of investment. These were two of the three most important channel types, after traditional Web.

“Mobile is reality, as we can see how important mobile Web for tablet and non-tablet mobile devices is from the data,” says Forrester analyst Anjali Yakkundi, author of the report. “But I think the important point is that our data showed that traditional and mobile Web concerns were prioritized more often than mobile applications.”

The Forrester survey also found that many companies are showing interest in responsive design.

“Many organizations we speak with are expressing a growing interest in responsive design, with the idea of creating once and optimizing for any channel,” the report said. “This trend has come up in many of our qualitative interviews, and a number of survey respondents wrote to us to say they are prioritizing this. As one digital experience leader told us, ‘We do not create device-specific presentations, because responsive design works great for us.’ While there are some major benefits to responsive design techniques, organizations must be aware of the risks, which include higher costs and the inability to use device-specific information to create contextual experiences.”

Forrester recommends that companies not keep technologies siloed and predicts that they will need to ramp up integrating and sharing data with third-party solutions, as a single channel only offers a small window into customer behavior. Contextual solutions, which Forrester defines as adaptive and predictive, provides insight into what a customer will do next and anticipates needs, and is also going to be key.

“As a strategy, multichannel is really going to be focusing on contextual delivery, how you deliver something beyond just personalization,” says Yakkundi. “This takes into account things like where you are, what kind of device is being used, all of these inputs that deliver a contextual experience.”

Yakkundi believes that spending on digital solutions is a must need for enterprises to keep up with the market.

“I think digital is an imperative for delivering better customer experiences because digital touchpoints facilitate greater engagement and pack more punch; digital competitors threaten (think Amazon), and mobile makes digital more pervasive than ever,” says Yakkundi.