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New survey findings on the status of digital transformation and experience management in the UK highlight multiple challenges plaguing on-going digitisation on customer and other key stakeholder experience efforts —but also show a reassuring level of digital maturity.

The research has been released by EASY Software, Europe’s foremost supplier of document management solutions, and displays a high level of digitisation success. When we asked about businesses’ satisfaction with how well they are using IT to manage end-to-end processes that start and end with the customer, the majority claimed to be ‘completely’ or ‘somewhat’ digitised (83%). Challenges to digitisation are budgetary (47%), complex or rigid legacy IT (39%) and lack of management understanding/support (38%).

The research shows that the majority of UK firms are doing well in terms of capturing experience data, namely employee and other key partner and employee stakeholder sentiment. There is mature use of 360-degree-style overview of stakeholders by the majority of UK businesses who regularly collect experience-related data (76%). In fact, the main group which UK businesses now poll data from is the employee (60%) reflecting the importance placed on retaining talent, addressing productivity gaps and meeting growing workplace expectations from younger demographics.

This is important, say respondents, as using experience data means businesses can interact better with customers, employees and partners (84%) while applying experience data to optimise operations was identified as a KPI by a similarly high proportion (82%). When asked about the perceived greatest advantage of a 360-degree approach, responses included, “You should collect data in order to improve your services both for customers and staff as companies can get a tunnel vision,” and, “To tailor our procedures to give a bespoke experience to our customers, suppliers and our staff (all the better to retain the best qualified staff)”.

The major challenges confronting those responsible for experience data collection were identified as:

  • Multiple regulatory problems, e.g. data protection and the on-going impact of GDPR (35%)
  • IT Infrastructure, systems and tools being missing or insufficiently developed (31%)
  • Poor data quality (29%).

External factors are clearly weighing on the UK c-suite. Asked about what they see as their greatest challenges over the next 12 months, respondents list the aftermath of Brexit (65%), the impact of coronavirus (49%) and cybersecurity threats/data breaches (47%) as their top three worries. On how vulnerable they are to losing customers from these challenges, businesses are not strongly pessimistic, but are worried nonetheless (45% are somewhat concerned, 17% are very concerned).

EASY Software UK’s CEO Andy Boulton believes that the survey demonstrates the UK’s increasing comfort levels with experience data, despite the challenges, immediate and wider:

“This survey has highlighted the fact that for UK firms, experience management is a well understood and utilised concept, despite regulatory challenges, and digitisation is firmly under way despite budgetary constraints,” Boulton states. “Notably, the high number of respondents recording employees as the key source of experience data shows the rise of employee experience in the age of the ‘Glassdoor effect’. But our findings also show a challenging business outlook in the UK, given Brexit looming and Coronavirus changing the business climate so dramatically. To keep the digitisation and experience momentum accelerating, some radical process overhaul and technology spend needs to be set in motion.”

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