An interesting take on "service innovation" and how customer service has increasingly become dependent on technology and enterprise agility.

In the fast-paced, demanding society we live in today, an organisation's ability to not only react quickly, but to react intelligently, can be the key difference for once loyal customers. Recently, we are finding that enterprise agility is the main catalyst which sits at the heart of service innovation.

Enterprise agility in a technology context is often associated with agile development and the ability to churn out new products quickly, realise value early on, and be able to reduce the time it takes to get new exciting features or products to market. From an end to end business-technology perspective, enterprise agility focuses on the organisation of people and work around the customer. 

The Achilles heel for many organisations undergoing these kinds of digital transformations is often that they have not organised themselves around customer journeys. Traditional operating models are often focused around capability, function, or more recently, products. However, we continue to see evidence with our clients that the optimal construct which puts the customer at the heart of everything is a customer journey focused operating model.

For example, a bank whose operating model is customer journey led may have a customer journey called "I want to take out a mortgage". In this instance, the focus of self-organising, cross-functional teams with people from the business and IT (including engineers, developers, UX designers, etc.) will be on optimising the customer's experience during any interaction with the bank's technology along this journey. Whether that is browsing options on a mobile device for the first time, or needing to make a request for adjusting their payment plans.

Undoubtedly, the customer journey led organisation is a target state which does not come without its challenges. It requires substantial change efforts, investment, and buy-in across the enterprise. It involves organising your operating model around the work; the people; and ultimately speeding up delivery. Many of the clients we are working with today are already starting to realise the value of this organisation type having begun their transformation journey.

If organisations do not embark on this journey sooner than later, they will find themselves falling behind their digital native counterparts (think the app-only digital banks, online streaming services etc.) who were built on and thrive in these agile, customer focused structures.