Choosing technology for the digital transformation or optimisation of any part of the customer experience is risky business.
Smart CIOs de-risk this decision by performing thorough technology evaluations - even when the obvious winner seems clear.
Drivers of risk
The risk associated is driven by a wide range of factors that go beyond price and complexity. When investing in an enterprise-grade solution to pretty much any problem, price and complexity comes together to build higher switching costs - both to the new solution and from it once it is in place - hence every new technology adoption requires serious thought.
In the case of Customer Experience (CX) and digital technology in general, the situation is further complicated by the fact that a great many stakeholders' objectives are influenced by the choice. In addition to the CIO overseeing the choice or implementation, the CMO, CISO, CSO, CDO, and potentially others, all have a vested interest, and therefore a say, in the selection.
Choice in context
The right technology choice also needs to be made in the context of the organisation. The best technology for a 'blank canvas' may not be the same one that meets your objectives as well as integrating with existing systems. Any new system will surely be subject to existing inter-dependencies that can only be re-wired at additional expense.
There is also the process of switching to be considered. Migrating data and existing solutions to new platforms needs to be possible, in the first place, and practical. And even if using an independent integrator to deploy and customise new technology for you, after they have left, your in-house teams need to have the skills to operate and, in some cases, maintain these systems for you.
Technology evaluations in practice
Regardless of if they are performed in house or by external resources, technology evaluations must be thorough, objective and impartial to be effective.
The starting point for most technology evaluations is a list of functional requirements. This type of assessment is an essential foundation, of course, but it is only the beginning in terms of identify the best technology for your business.
In order to make the right choice, you should look at the following five aspects:
- Functionality - how does the technology meet your functional requirements today and in the future
- Architecture - how does the technology fit with your organisation's technical and regulatory requirements
- Migration - how feasible is it to migrate the organisation to the new technology
- Budget - what is the total cost of implementation and ownership, including purchase, deployment, customisation and support
- Vendor - Does the vendor demonstrate ability in line with your requirements and is it continually investing in the technology
For a detailed description of the technology evaluation approach that VASSIT recommends, download our guide to performing digital technology evaluations. Our methodology has been developed specifically against enterprise requirements and refined based on our experience over hundreds of technology evaluations and deployments.