Contributed by Verizon Enterprise Solutions
Written by Jeffrey Granvold, Senior Manager, Verizon Enterprise Customer Experience Design Practice

Today the demand for evolution in the enterprise continues to drive new milestones. This demand stems not only from today’s digital consumer with an insatiable appetite for a more robust and agile customer experience, but also from the needs of the business community. Stringent regulations, fierce market competition, and the need to infuse new technology into business practices and services are transforming the enterprise in ways never seen before. It’s an era of customer experience transformation and one that requires thinking about an organization as an adaptive enterprise.

Fundamentally, an adaptive enterprise is one that continuously evolves, incorporating not just the latest and greatest technologies that empower customer experience transformation, but also predicting the future needs of the business and customers they serve. It’s logical that the network infrastructure powering an adaptive enterprise should likewise be agile. Accomplishing that will require some “gimbal thinking.” It will take maintaining a constant state of operational integrity while advancing digital from a multi-dimensional mindset from the ground up, outside in, and inside out—from the operational core to the experience edge—of the enterprise.

The Adaptive Network
What kind of networking technology can adapt to rapidly changing conditions while supporting gimbal thinking? Software-defined networks, for example, manage the application layer and control the flow of data based on data type and function. These networks are evolving and pushing the envelope of the adaptive network’s capabilities. A software-defined network can analyze application data in near real time and provide logical improvements to the processing of that data. In essence, the network is adapting to the requirements of evolving customer demands for a better experience. Future networks capable of gimbal thinking will be able to think for themselves in a multi-dimensional state and predict the changes necessary to evolve based not only on the demands of the network, but also on the expectations of the consumer. This networking evolution represents a major industry change and a better customer experience.

Before digital transformation became an industry theme, financial services organizations spent most of their efforts collecting customer trend data using surveys and focus groups. The collected data was not only used to substantiate investments in marketing programs, but also the investment in technologies that provided new ways of serving their customers. Today, advances in mobile-first designs, open API adoption, and artificial intelligence as well as access to exponential customer data are driving new customer experience designs that rely heavily on an adaptive network. Some of the examples that we see today can be found in the greater functionality of mobile banking applications. The ability to withdraw money from an ATM using a mobile device, the capability of chatting with a bank agent live via a banking application, and getting advice/support via artificial intelligence are key drivers that require an adaptive network design.

Mitigating Risk in the Customer Experience Transformation
While agility and adaptability to business processes are critical, managing security risks in the adaptive enterprise has never been more important. The increase in digital footprints driven by the explosion in the market of greater function and capabilities based on the Internet of Things (IoT) has created a near-borderless attack surface for cyber breaches. As massive amounts of data are being collected from devices, processed, and presented for a better customer experience, the attack surface is expanding, and the potential risk for gaps in security protocols grows.

As part of an overarching customer experience strategy, enterprise organizations need to take a step back, look more broadly at their security processes, and assess whether the current approach to their security playbook is comprehensive enough. Some questions to consider:

  • Is it secure enough for the changes that are being made to the enterprise?
  • What does it mean for the internal stakeholders involved in the development of a customer experience transformation?
  • Does an organization’s current security program support their vision?

These questions substantiate the need for the security organization to take a proactive role as part of the greater customer experience team assisting in future designs that satisfy both the security needs of the customer as well as their desire for a more robust customer experience.

Granvold leads Verizon’s Customer Experience Design practice—a team of certified CX design consultants dedicated to creating better CX outcomes for Verizon Enterprise Solutions customers by leveraging the company’s leading products and services.

About Verizon
Verizon is at the center of delivering the digital world. The networks, platforms, and solutions Verizon delivers to clients around the world help enable their digital strategies. Enterprise organizations face a rapidly changing competitive environment and rely on Verizon’s expansive global capabilities to solve business challenges and create competitive advantage. We continue to revolutionize the way we collaborate with our clients, evolving our business model, talent model and customer experience model. Together we can reimagine the “art of the possible” and bring this to reality.