A larger focus on customer-centric strategy is set to be one of the key trends this year as large corporations attempt to transform enterprise architecture through customer-focused leadership and a willingness to deliver best-in-class customer service. Business magazine Entrepreneur says 2016 will be “the year of the customer” as firms do everything in their power to build a culture aligned with customer needs. Doing so will eliminate silos, enabling data to be shared across organisations, improving buying engagement and helping them to understand customer behaviour and interests.
Many organisations are still struggling to adapt to the customer-centric mindset due to challenges such as insufficient expertise in data analytics and the absence of data management platforms. However, it has never been more important to overcome these obstacles as customers now have the ability to compare services and products in real time with social media having become a major part of the customer journey. Enterprise software company Oracle’s Senior Vice-president Bob Evans made ‘transform customer engagement’ one of his top ten strategic issues for Chief Information Officers in 2016; he wrote that they must lead the way in bridging the gap between what customers want and what organisations are accustomed to delivering.
Enterprise architecture contributes to reducing the complexity of IT by consolidating applications and data and enabling interoperability. However, IT continues to change at a rapid pace and the pressure of regulation changes and compliance laws may make this goal more difficult in 2016. Technology news and analysis website ITProPortal believes hybrid IT solutions are now “stifling” innovation, despite the importance of new cloud solutions to remaining competitive, due to rising operating costs and a proliferation of applications and other products. Organisations can improve their IT operations this year by streamlining processes, investing wisely and focusing on solutions that will deliver optimum business outcomes and enable them to deliver the right services to customers in a constantly connected landscape.
Moving forward, businesses should be aiming to build architectures that are more flexible and resistant to change due to the disruptive nature of the digital economy. Technology intelligence website IT Business Edge’s Writer Arthur Cole wrote that, rather than the right architecture, the enterprise should concentrate on building the right architectural framework, allowing knowledge workers in craft their own working environments, in 2016. This is because, with the pace of business only set to increase over the next 12 months, along with the complexity of business models, the last thing the enterprises needs is to scale resources into the cloud and then find itself stuck with old, inflexible architectures that detract from the value of data centre information.