This week was the Nimbus Ignite 2015 conference in London, with a specific theme of "Doing Digital to Being Digital". A great array of speakers from both industry and vendors, provided some interesting bite sized chunks of best practice and real world examples of how to implement successful digital transformation projects.
Whilst culture, technology and business buy-in were common themes that were well discussed, it seemed that the role the identity now plays a key part in helping to achieve the seamless level of customer engagement many organisations are now looking for. I presented on the topic of "Customer Engagement, Identity & Security in a Digital Age", which generated some interesting conversations.
Replacing the "Face to Face" and Reducing Low Net Worth Conversations
OK, so that heading is a bit of a mouthful - and what does it actually mean? Private and public sector organisations are desperately looking to achieve two main things with digital transformation from a revenue perspective.
Firstly, any investment that allows cost savings to be realised is always a bonus. Examples of this could include a reduction in the need to speak to your bank physically when you need to change your address. Or perhaps, the utility company having to send someone to physically take a reading from the gas metre installed in your house. Both expensive from an operational perspective and more importantly, neither allow the organisation an opportunity to fully engage with the customer in order to improve the delivered service, or indeed find further opportunities to sell more services. If they can be automated great.
Demand for Omni-Channel
So another buzzword bingo heading. What's the onmi-channel and why does it need to be seamless or demanded? Simply put, digital transformation wont happen overnight. All physical interactions aren't simply going to be replaced with shiny new digital tablet or equivalent communications. There will always be a need to engage with customers across a range of different platforms and within those platforms will come a variety of different devices, scenarios and models.
However, if you're engaging with customers across a range of different approaches, those approaches need to be consistent. If I go into my local bank branch - if one even exists these days - I want to get the same level of identity checking, information access and service, than if I performed the same transaction digitally. That digital process of course, is where the 'seamless' aspect comes into play. I don't want to be faced with complicated and inhibitive security controls to allow me to perform information queries or get me access to a service. I do however, want it to be secure, I just don't want security to interfere with my journey.
What about the issues around single sign on and social media login? Can I as a consumer, log in once to see my multiple insurance policies I hold with the same group? Or perhaps see both my loyalty card data and purchasing history with the same superstore with just a single login? Why can't I just 'Login with Facebook' like so many other sites? All of these consumer related questions need to be considered when looking to open up services in a digital manner.
One of the key themes I certainly took away from the Ignite event, was that people are at the centre of the digital transformation in any organisation. That could be in the form of highly focused and committed employees who are engaging in the digital transformation process from a culture and delivery standpoint or indeed the people who consume and engage with the services an organisation delivers.
Whilst digital is seem as an autonomous and cold experience, it's really people and the identity of the those people that really make the digital transformation process come to life.
By Simon Moffatt