Despite customer experience (CX) being cited as a top priority for almost half (45%) of UK businesses, new research from Rackspace Technology® (NASDAQ: RXT) reveals that a lack of understanding amongst business stakeholders is contributing to a culture of fear and resistance to new technology adoption aimed at improving CX.
Rackspace Technology, a leading end-to-end multicloud technology solutions company, today launched the “How applications impact customer experience” report. It found that the fear of negatively impacting CX was the second most common barrier to technology change cited by IT leaders, with over one quarter (27%) reporting their organisation is not receptive to new ways of using technology to improve CX.
One contributing factor is that more than one third (35%) of UK IT leaders do not believe their non-tech C-suite executives fully understand the bottom-line benefits of applications, with 30% reporting their organisation 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, more than half (57%) said it can take months or years to reach a consensus before they are implemented.
IT leaders believe app modernisation is worth fighting for
Yet, despite the significant challenges that IT leaders must overcome to modernise their applications to improve their CX, the research from Rackspace Technology demonstrated that many still believe it’s worth the investment. Over half (53%) of UK IT leaders said that applications have a high impact on improving CX, and more than two in five (43%) would invest in purchasing or replacing an app for this reason.
This is perhaps unsurprising given that IT leaders report that, as a result of delaying modernising applications, three-in-five UK businesses (60%) failed to meet new regulations, one quarter (25%) reported reduced levels of customer service, and the same number (25%) experienced a cost to the ultimate bottom-line due.
Further to these consequences, three quarters of UK organisations believe business revenue (75%) and employee turnover (75%) will be impacted if they do not modernise legacy applications in the next two to three years.
Working with technology partners to overcome the fears of app modernisation
While the research found that over three-quarters (77%) of UK businesses are currently modernising less than 50% of their applications, IT leaders are optimistic that perspectives are shifting. A large majority (87%) of UK IT leaders said the appreciation of the value of applications to their business or industry had grown in the past five years.
To help overcome the fear and complexity around application modernisation, one-third (36%) of UK businesses are turning to external partners for support, with a proven ability to deliver modernisation to the cloud and microservices cited as the most important consideration when choosing a partner (41%).
Mahesh Desai, Chief Relationship Officer, EMEA at Rackspace Technology, comments: “CX really is the holy grail for companies, particularly with the rapid adoption of digital services over the past 12 months. Investing in and improving CX with new technology is now the bare minimum that organisations need to do to keep up with the competition.
“That said, it’s understandable that businesses are cautious. With so much at stake and with so many companies having been burnt before, it’s easy to follow the mantra “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. But CX is the customer battleground. So, IT leaders need the support of business stakeholders to make the necessary improvements through investments in new applications and technologies.
“Working with a partner that has a proven track record is a great way for businesses that are concerned about what could go wrong to embark upon this change with confidence and positively achieve the customer experience they aspire to.”