In today’s competitive landscape, organizations remain hyper-focused on supporting and embracing the customer experience. To achieve this goal, they need to consider the entire customer journey and stop viewing the buying, selling and servicing cycles as a set of linear disconnected events. As outlined in a previous blog post, we refer to this as the commerce ecosystem. Connecting the entire transaction lifecycle as an ecosystem allows organizations to focus on the complete customer journey.
As we head into 2019, here are my five predictions about what we can expect to see in the coming year that will ultimately help organizations focus on the complete customer journey and enable frictionless customer experiences.
Value will drive Digital Transformation
A key learning from 2018 is that simply moving everything to digital does not necessarily translate into value for the business and their customers. In 2019, we will see a shift in organizations’ approach as they work to remove friction and enhance the real value of a service.
To achieve this, we will see more organizations conducting more user research including “Day in the Life” studies so that they have more meaningful customer journeys. From these customer journeys, companies will take a closer look at people, process and tools that do not align with value and remove or change them.
Increased adoption of cognitive technologies to leverage automation
As organizations look to leverage automation to enhance their overall commerce ecosystem, in 2019, we can expect to see an even more widespread introduction, and adoption, of software robots and artificial intelligence (AI) workers.
The key word is cognitive load and what companies can to reduce it by providing better guidance and overall automation that helps make it easier to use. Robotic process automation (RPA) is a great example of this and an area that will continue to heat up. As we move into 2019, RPA will become even more disruptive in how industries like retail, manufacturing, supply chain and even finance operate from the ground up.
Growth of Quote-to-Cash
2019 will be a big year for quote-to-cash (QTC). We will see the elements that make up QTC getting baked into full cloud experiences that are targeted at a specific industry. QTC will become easier to deploy and operate more effectively, similar to technologies like CPQ and CLM. What’s more the consolidation in this market will create a newer, richer set of offerings and we can expect to see vendors who have been on the sidelines enter this space in a big way.
Blockchain becomes the “ledger of things.” In 2019, as IoT becomes more integrated into digital solutions, industries will find that blockchain is great way to ensure the integrity and security of information between systems
CRM becomes cloud centric
As the shift from on premise to the cloud increases, CRM solutions will become the center of new cloud offerings and will drive the migration from legacy home-grown solutions to modern CRMs.