Perficient Digital Transformation Blog


Don’t Underestimate Employees and Culture in Your Transformation

shutterstock_174539255_350I’ve come to the conclusion that digital transformation is like peeling an onion. There are so many layers and pieces. You have to get a lot of pieces right including:

  1. Customer Insight
  2. Strategy: no transformation can work if your fundamental business strategy is a failure
  3. Design processes
  4. Enabling technologies (admittedly huge)
  5. Measurement
  6. Operations
  7. Culture

I want to focus on the culture component. Many times I’ve been at a client and talking about what we could do to truly make a difference in a great customer experience, more productive employees, well positioned partners, etc. More than once, I’ve received the following as an answer:

We can’t do that. Our leadership/employees/culture won’t allow it.

In other words, if you want to do anything that includes the word, “transformation,” then you absolutely must focus on the culture. You must focus on creating institutions and structures that allow for change to happen. Think of common activities that will happen in a a typical digital transformation roadmap. Read the rest of this post »

Customer Experience and Banking: The Need for Digital

shutterstock_307813265_300I attended a great session at Dreamforce where GE Money and Webster Bank talked about their digital transformations. It’s a good view into how our digital world and ever-increasing expectations impact every industry.

Banks must adapt or die in a digital world – Financial Times August 2015

The whole banking model is changing beneath our feet. Banks must take the valued knowledge of a customer 30-40 years ago in a branch model and translate it to digital.

What’s interesting is that for a long time, when I heard banking and digital, the focus was on transactions. While I wouldn’t mind seeing my bank balance, paying bills, and transferring money; that left a lot to be desired.  What these guys got was that expectations are rising and businesses need to keep up.  It’s worth visiting.

Posted in News

Cracking the Digital Code: McKinsey Survey

As you think about your digital transformation, it’s good take a step back and review what other companies are thinking about or doing in their quest to “go digital.” McKinsey released a survey of 987 global executives and their thoughts on this. I like both the insights in the data and McKinsey’s take on the fact that right now, it’s more hope than reality. That means many companies still have time to engage in their digital strategy.

The results suggest that digital’s promise seems more of a hope than a reality. Issues of scale remain a challenge, as they have in previous years.2 Few executives say that their companies’ business activities are more digital than not or that their companies have captured a meaningful share of the potential value that digital could bring their business. The most common hurdle to meeting digital priorities, executives say, is insufficient talent or leadership, which tops a longer list of complex challenges. The companies that are succeeding at digital (our “high performers”) have a more active digital agenda than others, are more effective at attracting and retaining digital talent, and offer other lessons for success

I can’t show every single graph so it’s worth it to read the entire post on McKinsey’s site. That said, here are a few of the more interesting ones: Read the rest of this post »

3 Types of Silos to Ensure Customer Experience Success

DT_Stallsmith_CrossPost_Quote_350David Stallsmith, director, Perficient XD, recently wrote about organizational silos and how overemphasis on formal and informal structures can be detrimental to business.

In his Are Your Silos Showing? post at our Spark blog, David points out how the digital age has brought upon new expectations from customers and how organizations must adapt in order to deliver the best possible customer service:

At one time, it didn’t matter much if a company’s departments varied in how they did business with customers. Rarely would a customer interact with a company through multiple channels and departments. But the digital revolution has given us greater operational transparency, elevating customers’ expectations where consistency and seamlessness are concerned.

David then delivers three types of silos (departmental, data, and channel), and the means to master them, to help ensure customer experience success. Read the rest of this post »

Creating a happy RFP


Leo Tolstoy‘s book Anna Karenina, begins: Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.

I believe that is also true with RFPs.

One of my responsibilities within the Strategic Advisory Team is to respond to RFPs. I am a contributor and in some cases coordinate the responses. When coordinating, I need to understand the entire RFP and ensure that the individual sections roll up into a comprehensive response that addresses the customer’s questions. I’ve had the opportunity to be involved with a number of responses, which prompted this post.

Companies invest time in creating and evaluating RFPs, vendors invest time in analyzing and responding. All involved parties have a lot riding on a good RFP. To be clear, a good RFP doesn’t mean one that Perficient wins. A good RFP is one where Perficient understand the customer’s requirements and expectations and determine we are a fit. Also a point on my background, I spent my formative career years in a large international company, eventually leading international teams of technologists. I understand structure and process and see the value of a well-crafted RFP and have been involved now on both creating and responding.

Below I have categorized some challenges I have seen: Read the rest of this post »

Posted in Best Practices, News

How Retailers Can Take Charge of Their Digital Transformations


Our Consumer Markets team recently launched a series on how digital transformation principles apply specifically for retailers – especially retailers who feel that their digital transformations are complete, or worse yet, not needed.

In the first of five posts, Jim Hertzfeld, Perficient Practice Director, Consumer Markets, wrote about why now is the time for retailers to become “particularly deliberate about their own digital transformations.”

… in the past several years, the connected consumer has been forcing retailers to not just have a digital option, but to use these options to transform the business itself. Retailers are not alone in this latest wave of customer-centricity. Many of Perficient’s customers are adopting a position of digital transformation …

Read the rest of this post »

Why do I need a Data Lake?

A common question among clients is, “Why do I need a Data Lake? “The first step to answering this question is to understand what a Data Lake is and what it is not.

According to Gartner, “Data lakes are enterprise-wide data management platforms for analyzing disparate sources of data in its native format” – Nick Heudecker.

A Data Lake is a powerful architecture which has a potential to transform the business by providing a singular repository for all of the organizations data (Structured, Semi-Structured and Unstructured, Internal and External). It enables your data scientists and business analysts to mine all organizational data that is scattered across data warehouses, data marts, operational systems, transactional systems and other unconventional data sources.

The value of Data Lake is realized by its power of sharing data from traditional line-of-business silos and support for rapid exploration and discovery process, which data science team uses to uncover variables and metrics that better predict their business performance and support decision making. Data Lake enables building predictive and prescriptive analytics necessary to support business use cases and initiatives.

Data Lake’s Analytics “Hub and Spoke” Service Architecture:


The “hub” of the “Hub and Spoke” architecture is a Data Lake. Data Lake has the following characteristics: Read the rest of this post »

(New) Age Old Question: Does Customer Experience Drive Growth?

I’ve been really busy lately and missed a nice research report from Forrester back in July 2015. In the report Does Customer Experience Really Drive Business Success?, analyst Harley Manning presented lots of data saying basically yes.

To start with, however, Mr. Manning presented several Customer Experience (CX) leaders who have tanked recently and CX laggards who have soared. Forrester annually ranks companies in terms of overall CX, not just in terms of a company web site.

Borders and JCPenney are two CX Leaders that both had close to -50% return.  Clearly their CX did not lead to business growth.  On the other hand, CX Laggards Cigna and Comcast both had tremendous growth rates well over 50%.  Obviously four samples do not make for a very compelling correlation, so Mr. Manning dug deeper and more broadly.

His team then looked at the growth compared to CX within specific industries and compared leaders to laggards.  What he found is that growth correlates to CX within most industries.  So don’t compare Comcast to JCPenney as they are not in the same industry. Rather compare Comcast (Laggard) to another cable company like ATT Uverse.  Forrester judged ATT to be a CX Leader in cable.  Guess what?  ATT’s growth rate beat Comcast.

Forrester looked at other industries: Read the rest of this post »

The Segment of Me

shutterstock_249068644Not too long ago I was clearly targeted in an email campaign and banner ads as a 40-something, suburban mom with kids that was preparing for “back-to-school.” I was offered some pretty good deals on sneakers, backpacks and organizational products for my home.

Unfortunately, this retailer couldn’t have been more wrong. I am 40-something, single, live in an urban zip code and have 0 children. They placed me smack dab into the wrong demographic profile. I didn’t feel that this retailer “knew” me.

This experience made me wonder how they were analyzing, segmenting and personalizing the information they had on me. The #1 goal of personalization is to identify a person’s attributes from their purchase intent, understand online behavior and specific profile demographics; then customize that experience by presenting only the most relevant content and provide the right calls–to-action. This retailer clearly had some information right, but missed the mark on others.

The challenge is that they likely couldn’t sift through the data and make it actionable intelligence, because quite simply there is a lot of data! As a frequent shopper of this retailer, they knew a lot about me, but they picked up on the wrong data …maybe a previous purchase of gifts for my best friend’s kids or maybe it was the gift bought for a charity event made them segment me differently.

Whatever happened, it made me think more about analytics, big data and the role it plays in personalizing content for me and as  the volumes of customer data increase, so does the critical nature of getting personalization right. On Thursday, Aug 20th, we will begin the discussion on big data, analytics and how it affects personalization in our next digital transformation webinar on analytics and personalization. Join the session by registering here: Leverage Customer Data to Deliver a Personalized Digital Experience.

“Follow the Leader” and Its Role in Successful Change Management

shutterstock_201679847_350Last week while vacationing with my family at the beach, I came face-to-face with one of the most effective Change Management principles – people will follow the “right” people.

You see, I don’t like crowds – whether it is in an airport, out at a park, or walking down a busy city street. I just don’t like them. Well, the same holds for the kitchen in the beach house! There’s nothing like trying to get to the refrigerator to get the ingredients and condiments to make sandwiches for my wife, three kids and me, the appropriate utensils, the chips, and of course, the drinks, all while trying to navigate five other extended family members who are doing exactly the same thing at precisely the same time. I don’t care how efficient you try to be; it’s a grueling process that I’m ready for a vacation by the end of.

Here’s the thing: It didn’t matter what time I started making lunch or what anyone else was doing prior to that (except NOT making lunch), but as soon as I began the task in the empty kitchen, it was like flies on honey. If I made lunch at noon, the crowd would gather. If I waited until almost 2:00 pm, the same thing! And again, it didn’t matter what these other folks were doing before making sandwiches (often it was reading a book in a rocking chair overlooking the ocean), they would simply be pulled, evidently by some mysterious force, to fix their lunches at precisely the same time I did. By the end of the week, I was going mad!

But it also made me think about effective Change Management, and more specifically, how people tend to gravitate towards what others are doing, especially if those others are well respected within an organization. Now, I’m not sure how well-respected I am in my family, but I will say others naturally gravitated towards what I was doing when I was doing it when it came to making lunch.

When we implement change initiatives on our projects, think about the impact of getting the right, early adopters on board and functioning in the “new way of life.” If we can get these important people bought into our solution, others will naturally follow, and many without being told or convinced to do so (I didn’t tell ANYONE I was going to make lunch or that they should come join me – it just happened).

Whoa, did I just say that people will adopt a new solution without any “Change Management?” Yes! There are always some that will want to be a part of the crowd, the “new thing,” or simply just want to be a part of what others are doing. Take advantage of them! Then beyond that, how much more successful will we be when we perform our normal Change Management activities capture the rest of our target audience? I think you’ll be surprised!