German firms report that in terms of businesses’ satisfaction with how well they are using IT to manage end-to-end processes that start and end with the customer, more than half claimed to be dissatisfied with digitisation in their company (58%). In the UK, on the other hand, the survey shows a higher level of digitisation success, with the majority claiming to be ‘completely’ or ‘somewhat’ satisfied (78%).
Likewise, the research shows that the majority of German firms are in the early stages of capturing employee and other key partner and employee stakeholder sentiment. The use of a 360-degree-style overview of stakeholders by German businesses is in its infancy, at only 39%. In the UK, meanwhile, there is greater maturity, with the majority of UK businesses regularly collecting experience-related data (76%).
This is important, say respondents, as using experience data means businesses can optimise operations and be more efficient. This was identified as a central metric of success by a high proportion of respondents in both countries (85% in Germany; 82% in the UK). For UK respondents, the ability to better interact with customers, employees and partners was rated highest (21% in Germany; 84% in the UK). The major challenges confronting those responsible for experience data collection in Germany were identified as:
- Multiple regulatory problems, e.g. data protection and the on-going impact of GDPR (82%)
- Complex internal data infrastructure (82%)
- Insufficient access to data (69%)
- IT Infrastructure, systems and tools being missing or insufficiently developed (68%)
A similar set of technology and infrastructure-based obstacles were acknowledged in the UK, with regulatory challenges also coming out top. One notable difference in the UK was the fact that multiple obstacles with no strikingly high numbers were recorded, plus access to skills was a concern:
- 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%)
- Lack of skills for data collection, analysis and use (28%)
External factors are also clearly weighing on the German and UK c-suite. The German study was conducted before the Coronavirus was a factor in our lives (July 2019), but the UK study was carried out during its onset (March 2020). Respondents in the UK listed the aftermath of Brexit (65%), the impact of Coronavirus (49%) and Cybersecurity threats/data breaches (47%) as their top three challenges over the next 12 months.
Another interesting survey result: the main group which German businesses (currently or in the next two years) polled data from was customers (44%), reflecting the strong and well-established link between ‘experience’ and Customer Experience (CX). In the UK, by contrast, the main polling group was employees, reflecting the rise in the importance of the employee experience in HR and business.
For Andy Boulton, EASY Software UK’s CEO, “This data highlights the fact that for UK firms, experience management is a well understood and utilised concept while for German businesses there is a lag: yet both countries face considerable regulatory challenges in realising their experience management aims. To keep the digitisation and experience momentum accelerating, some radical process overhaul and technology spend may need to be set in motion. This is hugely important, as we move from a shareholder to a stakeholder society and all stakeholders, whether staff, applicants, suppliers or business/cooperation partners have an impact on business success.”
The UK study was conducted online by independent research specialists Censuswide during March 2020, covering middle and senior management in 500-plus companies with at least 100 employees in the Technology, Telecommunications, Finance, Manufacturing and Retail sectors. The full UK survey report is available, register to receive your free copy here.