It seems digitalization trends are not what they are made out to be.
While reports give glowing remarks to how COVID-19 has sped up digitalization to drive CX, new research shows that this may be overlooking pockets of resistance.
According to a Rackspace Technology report, “How Applications Impact Customer Experience,” there is a lack of understanding among Hong Kong business stakeholders about its value. In turn, the report noted a growing culture of fear and resistance to new technology adoption at improving CX.
The report found that legacy IT systems were the most common barrier (15%) to technology change cited by IT leaders, followed by complexity (13%).
One contributing factor is that more than one in five (29%) of Hong Kong IT leaders do not believe their non-tech C-suite executives fully understand the bottom-line benefits of applications, with 17% reporting that their company is very or extremely resistant to change regarding technology.
Furthermore, even when these barriers to progress are overcome and changes to improve CX are agreed upon, more than half (56%) said it could take months or years to reach a consensus before they are implemented.
"Based on Rackspace's research, the majority (83%) of Hong Kong respondents agree that improving CX externally for customers and partners with the applications services they produce is one of their organization's key strategic priorities,” observed Sandeep Bhargava, managing director of Asia Pacific Japan (APJ) at Rackspace Technology.
“However, many face barriers such as the lack of understanding the bottom-line benefits of applications. This has led to months or years to reach a consensus before they are implemented. IT leaders need the support of business stakeholders to make the necessary improvements through investments in new applications and technologies,” he added.
Yet, the same research showed that many still believe it’s worth the investment. Sixty-five percent of Hong Kong IT leaders said that applications have a high impact on improving CX, and 67% would invest in purchasing or replacing an app for this reason.
It is perhaps unsurprising given that IT leaders report that, as a result of delayed modernizing applications, 67% of Hong Kong businesses failed to meet new regulations, 54% said reduced levels of customer service, and 27% experienced a cost to the ultimate bottom-line due.
While the research found that a majority (75%) of Hong Kong businesses are currently modernizing less than 50 percent of their applications, IT leaders are optimistic that priorities are shifting. A large majority (90%) of Hong Kong IT leaders said the appreciation of the value of applications to their business or industry had grown in the past five years.
More than half (51%) of Hong Kong businesses turned to external partners to overcome the fear and complexity around application modernization. Eighteen percent cited a proven ability to deliver modernization to the cloud and microservices as the most critical consideration.
“Working with a capable partner that possesses a proven track record is a great way for businesses that are concerned about complexity to embark upon this technological change with confidence and positively achieve the customer experience they aspire to,” added Bhargava.
Image credit: iStockphoto/Tero Vesalainen