Delivering great multichannel digital experiences isn't as easy as plugging in new software and calling it a day. Digital customer experience success comes from combining many elements: a big-picture vision, short- and long-term strategic planning, shifts in roles and responsibilities, and intelligent technology adoption and delivery. For application development and delivery (AD&D) pros and their business peers, the digital customer experience technology market matters because digital experience matters — both to organizations and to their customers. As your organization marches toward digital experience delivery, you must place technologies in their proper context.

In our recent TechRadar for Digital Experience Technologies, we advise AD&D pros to consider the following when thinking about planning their digital experience technologies:

  • It will be an integration–not a suite–story.  Many vendors promise a comprehensive customer experience management technology suite. But supporting customer experience is a broad discipline that includes everything from your contact center technologies to your marketing suites to the technologies that power your website. Right now, no one vendor has every single component — despite what they may claim. And even if they did, the vast majority of Forrester clients we speak with don't have the resources to rip and replace their existing investments, nor do they have the desire to be married to one vendor. Firms will instead look to best of breed vendors that are able to easily integrate with other solutions.
  • Tools to support contextual experiences will gain traction. The Holy Grail will be to provide broad benefits and drive seamless, targeted, rich digital multichannel digital experiences. But no single platform from any vendor is capable of delivering everything necessary to create, manage, deliver, and measure contextual, multichannel digital experiences. Expect tools that emphasize contextual experiences and integrate well with complementary solutions to gain traction.
  • Tools must create business value out of data.  We’ve all heard about Big Data and the 360 degree view of the customer. This is unattainable for many so don’t be fooled by Big Data promises that can never be fulfilled. Instead, at the heart of many digital customer experience software tools is the ability to leverage whatever data is available to help build and manage more effective digital experiences.  Look to these technologies that can start small, and expand to optimizing larger portions of your firm’s digital experience.
  • Marketing and line of business will demand capabilities, not just technology. It's tempting for AD&D pros to think about sourcing and delivering digital customer experience-related tools like they do back-office enterprise technologies like enterprise resource planning, email, or human resources management systems. These tools are different. Marketers responsible for digital experience strategies need to quickly adapt to changing customer needs in order to be contextual and personal. Part of the burden, therefore, rests on marketers and businesspeople to articulate their strategies to AD&D in terms of what capabilities they need to help support its activities and goals.

Our latest TechRadar for Digital Experience Technologies charts technologies against some of these major trends to help companies understand key investment areas to support digital experience delivery. And if you have any stories or trends you’ve seen, we’d love to hear them in the comments below.