A Digital Architect is a modern business and technology architect that is driven by customer experience to utilize technology to transform business, improve competitive position, increase revenue, and ultimately increase profitability.
According to Wikipedia… Digital Architects focus on the synergy and cross-discipline integration of the following fields of study: (1) customer experience; (2) cloud, webscale, iot; (3) data science including analytics; (4) business, application, information, technology and security architecture; (5) artificial intelligence, cognitive science, neuroscience, robotics and artificial creativity; (6) traditional science and mathematics including physics, quantum physics, chemistry and biology; and (7) digital 3D printing and nano-manufacturing.
Digital Architects have to engage in both business and IT, therefore, should participate and aid in the facilitation of strategic planning.
The digital architect should have the cross-IT autonomy to own decisions involving delivery of applications and content to people. Without this unifying IT function, one cannot address the business challenge of connecting people to content in a centralized fashion.
Consumerization is Driving Next Generation Architecture
Consumerization and evolving customer behavior are forcing companies to change how they market, engage, sell and retain.
Customers don’t interact solely with mobile devices, websites, call centers, or stores. They engage with the entire business over time via multiple channels, both physical, web, mobile, and social, and they do it on their time frame as their needs dictate.
Whatever method and whatever time customers choose to engage with the brand, that is where brands should meet them; this customer first mentality strengthens loyalty and builds long-lasting customer relationships.
As a result, corporations are investing more and more money building and assembling comprehensive multi-channel platforms for customer acquisition, engagement, and retention.
Yesterday’s web-only sites have become today’s mobile-first, AI-driven digital experiences. Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Natural Language Processing, Computer Vision have reached a critical tipping point and will increasingly augment and extend virtually every technology-enabled service or application.
The digital architecture, application development, and delivery or (AD&D) necessary to support next-generation experiences require significant planning. The first step is to define a digital operating model and Digital Enterprise Architecture that allow for the rapid integration of new technologies to fuel the digital transformation.
Digital Architecture – Application and Technology
The tech landscape is evolving fast…cloud-first, mobile-first, data-driven. In parallel, the business strategies require hyper-consumer targeting platforms:
- Empower front-office to connect with their customers through engaging experiences
- Create easy-to-consume integrated digital experiences (e.g., responsive web platforms for desktop, mobile, tablets and other device types that provide mass audiences immediate access to content, transformations, and information they crave)
- Unified view of customer profile (transactions + interactions + social + other data)
- Integrated Mobile Engagement (Deliver mobile-first experiences)
Digital Architecture – Marketing and Sales Perspective
Most marketers were not trained to be technologists, analysts, mathematicians or economists. They were trained to be top-of-the-funnel demand generators and brand marketers. However, increasingly they are being forced to make significant sales, marketing, service and commerce solution, and platform decisions.
The emerging requirements that Chief Marketing Officers and Chief Technology Officers are focused on:
- Personalization of digital channels – Deliver relevant messaging to the customer through email, mobile and web
- Visualizations of customer journeys — Gain new insights on how to engage customers
- Apply predefined models and learning to future campaigns
- Predictive Analytics (predictive support for customer profile and next best action; attribution and marketing mix support
CMO’s realize that companies with the best data-driven analytics and customer experience design are the ones that are going to win.
When we talk about analytics, we mean the companies that have the best algorithms.
End to End Digital Solution
Everything starts with Design. The design is a catalyst to drive change in the way that the world works and lives. Service design combines the customer experience with the technology platforms.
Companies are looking to transform their businesses through design-led initiatives. Digital integration via Application programming interfaces or (API), now acts as the glue that links services, applications, and systems together to create compelling customer experiences.
APIs help create interfaces between back-end systems and applications. Sharing these interfaces with customers and developers can help bring new digital services to market, open revenue channels, and exceed customer expectations.
Combining architecture, innovation, and design experience with business operations and technology platforms is the future.
Simplicity in digital architecture is the ultimate goal. The challenge is how to get there. Most digital architecture efforts so far are tactical rather than strategic responses to the challenge of the digital revolution: digital add-ons to existing analog business.
When something interrupts the seamless experience or fails to deliver on expectations, customers notice. Moreover, they react. When this occurs, customers share their disappointment with their social networks. Because there are numerous competitors and the web enables easy switching, unhappy customers often move on to other sites that anticipate and meet their expectations.
Most enterprises lack a digital architect role to help oversee the IT landscape in a holistic fashion.
The technology capabilities for a truly holistic IT exists. All we need is commitment within each organization to lead a modernization effort which will be enthusiastically received by end users.
Consider the problem we are actually trying to solve: Securely connecting people to content.
Delivering on constantly changing expectations requires world-class digital architecture from world-class digital architects.