So here’s the good news: IT budgets for 2021 are increasing despite the global coronavirus pandemic, and the march of digitalisation is set to continue. And that sums it up: a customer-centric, integrated and seamless system is far better than many specific stand-alone solutions – because it’s the only way to avoid conflicts of interests...

The IT department vs. the specialist department: the initial situation

Ever-growing IT budgets are going straight to the specialist departments, mainly marketing or sales. And the IT department? They’re often an afterthought. Why is that?

The IT department is responsible for every application a company has and new applications have to be integrated into the existing IT landscape. However, the various requirements from the specialist departments are increasingly shaping a system landscape that is becoming more and more complex. Integrating new applications is then often a lengthy and tedious process. ‘Lengthy’, however, is not a word you’ll find in the dictionary of marketing and sales executives. ‘Time-to-market’ and ‘short response times’ tend to be better descriptions of the wishful thinking found in customer-centric departments. The result is a knee-jerk reaction that sees results-driven sales and marketing departments tempted to take responsibility for applications into their own hands and quickly introduce their own chosen stand-alone solutions to specific problems.

A conflict of interest with unfortunate consequences

A lack of integration:

A stand-alone solution does not have the necessary integration with existing systems. Existing data cannot be used by the application and generated data cannot flow back into the existing systems. The dilemma: Additional silos are created that completely contradict the universal goal of a standardised customer journey.

Unfocused customer contact:

Limited budgets or a certain lack of technical understanding can, in extreme cases, lead to inadequate standard systems being selected. These standard systems deliver standard features with standard processes, but they are often not integrated and result in data silos. Companies end up failing to deliver the tailored customer interaction they wanted.

Lack of cost effectiveness:

On the other side of the coin, systems are elaborately adapted to accommodate demanding departmental requirements, and company-specific processes are implemented where the effort needed to do so is disproportionate to the benefit.

IT and the specialist department: a common focus on the customer creates synergies

The main mission here is keeping the customer and your own brand(s) front and centre. Combining this focus with the relevant technical understanding and well-founded implementation expertise, as well as the ability to bring this knowledge to the table at short notice, ensures the success of projects that achieve the desired effects for both sides.

The adesso Digital Experience business unit is one of the digital agencies that have been overcoming this challenge for years. The aim is to bring together all of the necessary competencies that a company has at its disposal, to work together at an interdisciplinary level in a positive atmosphere and to overcome the obstacles of typical corporate structures using methodologies and agile work processes. That means bringing all of the relevant managers on the customer’s side to the table and using experience to define a procedure based on the existing systems and the new system components to be selected, in which the overall system is continuously developed in an agile fashion one small step at a time.

This enables seemingly contradictory components to be optimised in parallel. The customer-centric customer journey is developed in line with the technical specification, and both make an equal contribution to the digital brand. This results in a customer-centric application and a modern system that can be fully integrated and continuously developed in small steps.

Step one: a methodical workshop with the adesso Interaction Room

The adesso Interaction Room gives a very good first impression of this approach in practice. As has already been explained, this allows everyone involved and affected to be integrated into the design and definition process. This inclusion combined with deliberate changes of perspective ensures the participants see the big picture and can focus on the essentials. They work together by harmonising their expectations, which results in well-defined, leaner projects that are completed faster. Thanks to this workshop format, you can develop an initial digitalisation roadmap in just a few days. And the best part is that this can also be done while working from home – with the Remote Interaction Room (IR).

The Remote IR is a useful addition to the in-person workshop and focuses entirely on digital collaboration and interaction. This is done using modern IT communication and business process modelling tools, as well as digital whiteboards for finding solutions for the key issues of a project.

Do you have any questions or comments about the process? Then feel free to get in touch: dx@adesso.de

Would you like to learn more about exciting topics from the world of adesso? Then check out our latest blog posts.

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