From growth to optimization — how to ensure success in a challenging market

From growth to optimization — how to ensure success in a challenging market

When organizations reach a certain size and maturity, they often share a common set of characteristics that are quickly recognizable. They tend to span multiple domains and services through siloed business units that have been built over decades, particularly in the case of organizations in typically regulated industries, such as financial services and telecommunications. They may also operate in highly saturated markets where customer loyalty can be low and customer churn can be high — consumers are happy to take their business to competitors if they believe a better service is available.

In my nearly 25 years of experience working across many industries at the intersection of people, process, and technology, I have helped numerous organizations to simplify and unify their operations, maximizing growth and operational efficiency.

However, the unique pressures of the past couple of years call for a shift toward optimization and a margin-oriented mindset. When working with organizations, instead of looking at how we can prioritize growth, the focus is now on achieving business simplification and doing more with what we already have to drive value through optimization.

Let’s discuss the cross-industry challenges being faced and how to best respond to this new market pressure to ensure your organization’s long-term success.

The challenges of an optimization mindset

Typically, the number one priority for any company is growth — new customers, more services, higher levels of investment, and ultimately, greater profits. As a company becomes larger through new product innovation or acquired expansion, its different business units are inevitably siloed into supporting the delivery of its many products and services.

In turn, this causes the company to have redundancies or bloat, lacking agility and velocity, with lengthy processes necessary to provide services to their end customers. The result of this bloat is a poorly optimized business structure, a lack of efficiency, and no holistic experience from start to finish for the end customer.

I’ll use an example from the financial services industry to illustrate this point. I might call my bank to talk about my mortgage and, while on the phone, I might also want to chat about my child’s savings account and my car loan, which I hold through that same bank. The problem is these three services are handled through different, siloed business units.

Instead of dealing with all my queries in one place, I’m passed around the company, often having to repeat my details and questions to customer service representatives that have little context about my previous conversations due to a lack of interconnection and communication between business units.

Today, customers are increasingly tech-savvy and expect the services they pay for to be highly personalized. They want to log into one portal where they can carry out all their needs, and they don’t want to have multiple logins to multiple sites with different looks, feels, and processes. If your organization can't offer an efficient, consolidated service, customers will likely jump ship to a competitor who can.

Couple this with a post-COVID market where budgets are squeezed on both the business and consumer end, and it becomes clear that organizations need to adapt or risk being left behind.

Quite simply, organizations need to move away from a mindset that prioritizes growth to one that focuses on optimization and margin.

Doing more with what you already have is key to long-term survival and success, and it will help you to provide the best service to your customers.

The solution is business simplification

The solution can be summed up in two words — business simplification. Organizations need to streamline people, process, and technology, by breaking down silos and integrate business units. That way, they can facilitate efficient end-to-end delivery of services to their end customers.

The easiest way to do this is by adopting a platform-based approach like the one offered by Adobe Experience Cloud. Through Experience Cloud, Adobe delivers a platform-based solution that operates across the entirety of the activated business.

A platform-based approach allows individual business units to retain their identity while being integrated across the company through a standardized, ubiquitous solution that supports the entire organization. This increased integration and decreased complexity results in improved agility and velocity, reduced costs through optimization, and ultimately a better, more personalized customer experience.

And with Adobe Professional Services, we are able to not only provide the software but also lead and support customers through the implementation, activation, enablement, and optimization of the platform. Beyond this, Adobe Professional Services can help you plan for both the governance needed to ensure success and the change management to drive and underpin it all.

The value of a platform approach

Having a proper governance structure and effective change management plan in place — along with a platform that is standards-based — is paramount. This allows for repeatability at scale, so organizations can create standardized processes and workflows that interact with all of the systems, as opposed to creating customized approaches for each individual silo, thus perpetuating the problem the platform is designed to solve.

The process of platform-based business simplification might sound tricky, but with the proper support and a robust change management plan in place, these optimizations are very achievable. In fact, I recently helped a firm plan for its governance and change management and begin to implement Adobe Experience Cloud platform into the organization. The anticipated efficiencies over the coming three years are expected to be equivalent to eight times the holistic initial investment.

If you’re ready to find out more, get in touch with Adobe Professional Services experts. We can enhance your customer experience through future-proof improvements to the systems, strategies, and technologies your business uses every day.

Gene has nearly 25 years of experience supporting numerous industries at the intersection of people, process, and technology to create success in a connected world. Currently he serves as a senior managing director for Adobe Professional Services, responsible for strategy, sales, services execution, and value realization across several of Adobe’s strategic industry verticals. He is the group executive accountable for a customer's holistic lifecycle across pre-sales and post-sales, ensuring all customer engagements and programs drive imagined return on investment and transformative digital value realization for over 150 top brands.