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  • 1 Adobe & Econsultancy Release New Research: “Technology Companies Lead the Way in Digital Experience Delivery.”
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Adobe & Econsultancy Release New Research: “Technology Companies Lead the Way in Digital Experience Delivery.”

The industry characterised by constant invention, rampant competition and rapid obsolescence cycles also leads the way in digital adoption. A report recently released by Adobe and Econsultancy reveals that, perhaps fittingly, companies in the technology industry are leaders in both becoming digital first and digital integration. The “2017 Digital Trends in Technology” report is based on a sample of over 900 respondents working in the technology sector who were among more than 14,000 digital professionals taking part in the annual Digital Trends survey.

In this report, we highlight differences between industries, specifically profiling the technology industry. More importantly, we were able to tease out some of the nuances underlying the differences in the technology industry such as the motives, dynamics and disruptions that are driving behaviour. The report offers a wealth of valuable information — not just for practitioners in the technology industry, but for anyone who deals with the technology industry. Following is a summary of some of our key findings.

Companies in the Technology Industry Are Digital Leaders.

Our research revealed that organisations in the technology sector are, in many ways, digital leaders. For example, technology organisations are nearly twice as likely as their peers to classify themselves as digital first (19 per cent vs. 10 per cent), putting the sector in third place (after gaming, gambling and media) out of the 15 key sectors we analysed. This eagerness for digital may, perhaps, be explained by the drastic changes in purchasing behaviours that have driven a shift toward hybrid, agile product offerings and ‘as-a-service’ models of payment. This has created the need for tech organisations to foster an ongoing, high-touch relationship with their customers, which is more easily accomplished using digital technologies.

Chart - We are a Digital-First Organisation

Shifting Customer Demands Mean That One Size No Longer Fits All.

The technology sector experiences rapid innovation that translates into relentless competition. As a result, companies place increased emphasis on providing value for their customers, differentiating through customer experiences. The vast majority (81 per cent) of technology companies are putting customers at the heart of all their initiatives. Almost one-third (32 per cent) of respondents said their highest customer experience (CX) emphases were being placed on value.

Customer journey management is the second-most-important priority for 2017. Ensuring a consistent CX is especially challenging in this industry due to the complex ecosystem of players — partners, resellers, field representatives and others — that touch or play a role in delivering the customer experience. This challenge is being met internally through hiring skilled staff members to engineer good experiences. Encouragingly, the proportion of companies that have the CX skills they need has increased by 9 per cent in the last two years.

Chart - Where Organisations Place the Highest Emphases in Terms of Improving Customer Experiences

New Technologies Will Enable New Levels of Customer Relationships.

Although differentiation is top of mind, differentiation strategies vary greatly even within the technology industry. Again, almost one-third (29 per cent) of respondents plan to use product or service innovation to differentiate themselves from competitors over the next year. However, digital-first organisations are 52 per cent more likely than the others to see customer experience as a key differentiator, highlighting the inseparability of digital maturity and customer experience delivery.

The Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), robotics and augmented and virtual realities have been introduced to the industry over the past couple of years but are yet to see integration into business-as-usual strategies. The technology industry is likely to be the first to see this integration, either through internal-innovation labs, collaborations with other technology providers or even companies from other sectors. Technology respondents see this opportunity and are three times as likely as their peers in other sectors to regard the IoT as an exciting opportunity to connect with customers. Accordingly, technology respondents are also more likely to acknowledge the future potential of AI and bots.

The full report contains many more insights with much more depth and detail than can be described in a blog post. For a comprehensive discussion on all the technology-industry insights, download the full report today.