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Organisations investing in IoT, AI to enhance CX following COVID-19

By Shannon Williams, Mon 15 Mar 2021

Organisations across the globe are inclined to invest in advanced technologies such as the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence to enhance the customer experience and overcome the adverse impact of COVID-19, according to the Frost & Sullivan. 

Frost & Sullivan's recent analysis, 2021 Predictions COVID-19 Accelerates CX Investments, has found that the pandemic challenges have catalysed technology trends across the globe and accelerated organisations' digital transformations sooner than initially predicted. 

Organisations are shifting to remote work and smaller satellite offices as security and network reliability become critical factors in delivering excellent CX beyond COVID-19.

Alpa Shah, global VP of CX Research at Frost & Sullivan, says apart from navigating through COVID-19 challenges, improving CX and satisfaction is also a top business goal for 2021. 

"Companies recognise the importance of CX and even measure their digital transformation success on customer satisfaction but tend to invest in solutions that only solve short-term problems," he says.

More than 50% of businesses have already invested in IoT and digital visualisation. The former offers potential for enhanced CX for organisations in insurance, healthcare, and manufacturing with its monitoring capabilities, and the latter can be valuable for agent desktops to improve employee performance.

"The retail/wholesale, travel/hospitality, energy, and education industries will invest in AI to facilitate innovation and are most interested in using the technology to boost CX," says Shah.

"On the other hand, banking and finance companies, along with government and transportation, are focusing on cost efficiencies."

The analysis found investments in technologies will drive growth opportunities in organisations that are undergoing digital transformation. 

Key findings include:

  • Big data analytics takes the lead on investments in transformative technologies, followed by IoT and data visualisation. 
  • More than 75% of organisations will be investing in these solutions by 2022. 
  • Post-pandemic plans for technology investments are focused on moving applications to the cloud (31%), followed by video conferencing (25%). 
  • Over the next two years, 80% of CX solutions are expected to be in the cloud. 
  • The key digital transformation objectives in 2021 are adapting to the new work modes (35%), accelerating digital customer engagement self-serve (31%), and enhancing e-commerce capabilities (30%). 
  • For 44% of companies, customer satisfaction is the prevalent method for measuring digital transformation success, which aligns with top business goals and investment priorities. 
  • Cybersecurity continues to be the top concern for 51% of companies; this is only exacerbated by the number of remote workers caused by the pandemic. 
  • COVID-19 has augmented the move to the cloud and the use of digital commerce and digital marketing. 
  • While CX is a top corporate goal, CX investments are not ranked high. 
  • Delivering a holistic customer journey is top of mind among end-user businesses. Finance, healthcare, and travel and hospitality organisations are focused on managing the entire customer journey; high-tech and transportation companies want to leverage CX information across all departments. 
  • For North American and Latin American companies, the top business goal is improving CX, while Europe is centering on automating business processes and APAC in boosting operational efficiencies.
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