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For Application Development & Delivery Professionals

Assess Your Digital Experience Delivery Maturity


Assessment: The Digital Experience Delivery Playbook
by Anjali Yakkundi and Danielle Geoffroy
June 22, 2016

Why Read This Report

Key Takeaways

How should application development and


delivery (AD&D) pros assess their maturity in
delivering digital customer experience initiatives?
This report asks questions such as: Do you
have the right culture and people in place to
deliver on this new imperative? Do you have
strategic scenarios to achieve your goals? Are
you using customer insights to fuel continuous
development and improvement? Do you have
the right technology portfolio to support your
strategy? Use this reports maturity framework to
evaluate your current state and identify key areas
of improvement.

Assess Digital Experience Delivery Maturity


Across Four Components
Excellence in digital experience delivery
capabilities requires competency in four areas:
organization, strategic planning and execution,
process, and technology. AD&D pros should rate
their maturity on each of those dimensions.

This report was published in October 2014.


Forrester reviews and updates it periodically for
continued relevance and accuracy, most recently
in June 2016.

forrester.com

Plot Your Current Positioning Based On


Forresters Maturity Framework
Forresters framework maps organizations to one
of five stages: rookies, sophomores, rising stars,
seasoned veterans, and coaches. These stages
will help AD&D pros understand what they must
improve in order to progress along their digital
experience delivery road map.
Plan Future Improvements Based On
Assessment Outcomes
AD&D professionals looking to advance digital
experience delivery capabilities should use the
assessment to drive their strategic planning
and technology road map. It will help inform
key investment decisions in people, processes,
and technology.

For Application Development & Delivery Professionals

Assess Your Digital Experience Delivery Maturity


Assessment: The Digital Experience Delivery Playbook
by Anjali Yakkundi and Danielle Geoffroy
with Stephen Powers, Mark Grannan, and Ted Schadler
June 22, 2016

Table Of Contents
2 Firms Must Grow Their Digital Experience
Delivery Expertise
2 The Four Dimensions Of Digital Experience
Delivery Maturity
7 Evaluate Your Digital Experience Delivery
Maturity
What It Means

Notes & Resources


Forrester interviewed multiple vendor, digital
agencies, and user companies from across
industries, including Accenture, Adobe, CI&T,
Connective DX, LiquidHub, Mindtree, Sitecore,
and Siteworx.

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8 Use Forresters Maturity Framework To Drive


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10 Supplemental Material

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Management Capabilities

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For Application Development & Delivery Professionals

June 22, 2016

Assess Your Digital Experience Delivery Maturity


Assessment: The Digital Experience Delivery Playbook

Firms Must Grow Their Digital Experience Delivery Expertise


Among business and technology decision-makers whose firms prioritize improving customer experience,
78% are either currently working on improving customer experience or plan to start an initiative on it
within six months.1 Technology management groups have a large hurdle to overcome. They must work
with greater agility to support digital customer experience initiatives. This means implementing new tools,
implementing new processes, and hiring new people. AD&D leaders are crucial, given their expertise
in areas like web and mobile development and project and program management. To deliver on this
promise, AD&D pros must assess gaps and grow their digital experience delivery expertise.

The Four Dimensions Of Digital Experience Delivery Maturity


Forresters digital experience delivery maturity assessment tool provides a framework for AD&D
professionals to identify areas of improvement, so that firms can set a road map to grow delivery
expertise.2 This framework will help you evaluate where your organizations current maturity lies across
four key dimensions (see Figure 1):
Organization. Over three-fourths of digital experience professionals we surveyed said
organizational challenges were the No. 1 barrier to success.3 Your people, reporting structures,
and team structures are critical components to success for growing internal expertise and creating
digital experience teams that are responsive to business needs.4 This isnt just limited to who
youve hired to be on the team. Instead, people issues focus more broadly on organizational issues
like organizational structure, shared values, collaboration, and services partner strategy.
Strategic planning. Digital experience delivery maturity is largely based on how well organizations have
strategized, planned, and executed their digital experience delivery programs. As we learned from our
interviews, firms may be spending millions upward of even $100 million over five years to support
digital experience excellence.5 The most mature organizations have comprehensive customer-focused
strategies that span business, marketing, and development teams.
Process. Effective digital experience delivery programs have flexible, yet defined, processes that
guide creation, management, delivery, and optimization of digitally enabled experiences. For AD&D
pros in particular, this dimension describes areas such as faster development and design times,
governance, and change management. The chief marketing officer of a B2B firm we interviewed
told us that its process is all about agility, being flexible, adaptable, and reducing cycle times.
Technology. Technology solutions play an important role in managing, delivering, measuring, and
optimizing digital customer experiences and the associated business processes. And over half of the
firms we surveyed claimed tech was a critical barrier to success.6 Technologies supporting digital
customer experience are vast and broad they encompass a whole range of custom-built and
packaged front- and back-office applications.7 For this assessment, weve focused on the maturity of
the technology strategy and process that support firms digital experience delivery platforms.8

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For Application Development & Delivery Professionals

June 22, 2016

Assess Your Digital Experience Delivery Maturity


Assessment: The Digital Experience Delivery Playbook

FIGURE 1 Forresters Digital Experience Delivery Maturity Assessment Tool

Directions: Please score each statement based on the below scale.


For the following statements, which response best matches your organization?
1= Nonexistent
2= Ad hoc
3= Repeatable
4= Documented
5= Optimized
Organization

Points

Organizational structure

Business and technology management form cross-functional


design, development, business, and data teams to support specific
initiatives (e.g., product teams).

Culture

Senior business and technology management leaders have shared


road maps, goals, and values, and the culture empowers our users
across the organizations.

Collaboration

Technology management and the business are colocated when


possible and consistently work together through methods like
frequent collaboration, communication, and collaboration tools.

Partners

Business and technology management work together with outside


partners to support digital experience projects and to bring new
expertise and ideas into the organization in addition to or instead of
just outsourcing work.

Internal talent

Business and technology management are committed to hiring for


cross-functional roles, such as developers who possess technical
skills as well as business acumen and basic design skills.

Hiring and retaining

Business and technology management invest in growing employee


skillsets, via opportunities for continuing education, mentorship
programs, and documented career paths. We proactively recruit
talent from unique places such as community events, online forums,
and universities.
Organization total

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For Application Development & Delivery Professionals

June 22, 2016

Assess Your Digital Experience Delivery Maturity


Assessment: The Digital Experience Delivery Playbook

FIGURE 1 Forresters Digital Experience Delivery Maturity Assessment Tool (Cont.)

Directions: Please score each statement based on the below scale.


For the following statements, which response best matches your organization?
1= Nonexistent
2= Ad hoc
3= Repeatable
4= Documented
5= Optimized
Strategic planning and
execution

Points

Leadership

A shared mandate exists between the CIO, CMO, COO, and other
senior leaders within the business and within technology
management. Executive ownership is clearly defined at the
beginning of new digital experience initiatives.

Road map

Technology management and business have a shared digital


experience vision and a road map that iterates regularly based on
customer and business priorities.

Priorities

Technology management and business prioritize projects together,


equally valuing customer needs, business impact, and technology
resources required.

Channel strategy

Business and technology management leaders operate across


channel silos yet are able to take advantage of channel-specific
features. The organization has also identified new, emerging
channels.

Success metrics

We understand what success means whenever we start an


initiative. Technology (e.g., availability and uptime), business (e.g.,
ROI, conversion), and customer-centric (e.g., loyalty, customer value)
metrics are defined up front, during the strategy planning.
Strategic planning and execution total

2016 Forrester Research, Inc. Unauthorized copying or distributing is a violation of copyright law.
Citations@forrester.com or +1 866-367-7378

For Application Development & Delivery Professionals

June 22, 2016

Assess Your Digital Experience Delivery Maturity


Assessment: The Digital Experience Delivery Playbook

FIGURE 1 Forresters Digital Experience Delivery Maturity Assessment Tool (Cont.)

Directions: Please score each statement based on the below scale.


For the following statements, which response best matches your organization?
1= Nonexistent
2= Ad hoc
3= Repeatable
4= Documented
5= Optimized
Process

Points

Governance

Governance practices are updated, flexible, and span both


business and technology processes, including defined
ownership of products and solutions. Business and technology
management have a cross-functional steering committee.

Business process

The organization has defined digital experience processes that


flow from strategy, design, and content creation to development,
delivery, and optimization. Insights and data fuel and optimize these
processes.

Change management

We have a formal change management process owned by a


committee that identifies key areas of change, change champions,
and communication of learning plans. Leaders conduct ongoing
analysis of employee feedback and refine planning.

Agile development
processes

Teams are fully committed to Agile development methodologies,


practicing design, build, and release deployment cycles for
continuous improvement. Our teams treat digital experiences as a
product rather than a project.

Design

User experience (UX) and design processes are comprehensive and


modern, including design and development in tandem, use of rapid
prototyping and fast-failure methods, and hiring cross-functional
design roles such as creative technologists.
Process total

2016 Forrester Research, Inc. Unauthorized copying or distributing is a violation of copyright law.
Citations@forrester.com or +1 866-367-7378

For Application Development & Delivery Professionals

June 22, 2016

Assess Your Digital Experience Delivery Maturity


Assessment: The Digital Experience Delivery Playbook

FIGURE 1 Forresters Digital Experience Delivery Maturity Assessment Tool (Cont.)

Directions: Please score each statement based on the below scale.


For the following statements, which response best matches your organization?
1= Nonexistent
2= Ad hoc
3= Repeatable
4= Documented
5= Optimized
Technology

Points

Technology road map

Our digital experience technology road map balances the need


to make urgent investments immediately with cloud or software
extensions with the need to deliver important agility and long-term
benefits with a modern digital experience platform.

Technology portfolio
strategy

We have a unified technology portfolio, with no redundancy, where


all products allow for integration to third-party and partner solutions.

Cloud-ready strategy

We have embraced the cloud, when appropriate, and have a


cloud strategy that balances the need for agility and speed, with
security, risk, and customization needs at top of mind.

Business self-service

Our technology solutions enable business-user self-service and are


not dependent on technology management groups to make
publishing changes. When appropriate, technology groups empower
business groups to prototype creative, front-end briefs.

Customer data
management strategy

A strategy and governance is in place that supports collecting,


connecting, and integrating data silos. We have a data strategy to
break these silos to actively manage richer profiling and
segmentation in real time as well as consciously rationalizing the
number and variety of customer database structures.
Customer analytics are collected, analyzed, and presented to
leadership in order to turn insights into actions that fuel the life cycle
of the digital experience.

Customer analytics

Technology total

Your digital experience delivery maturity score:


Your digital experience delivery maturity placement:

2016 Forrester Research, Inc. Unauthorized copying or distributing is a violation of copyright law.
Citations@forrester.com or +1 866-367-7378

For Application Development & Delivery Professionals

June 22, 2016

Assess Your Digital Experience Delivery Maturity


Assessment: The Digital Experience Delivery Playbook

Evaluate Your Digital Experience Delivery Maturity


Forrester has identified five stages that organizations and AD&D pros go through as they build a digital
experience delivery practice. Depending on your score, youre at one of the following phases (see Figure 2):
Rookies (0 to 22 points). Digital experience delivery as a practice still hasnt taken hold in your
organization. Digital experience projects are ad hoc and lack coordination. Business groups often use
agencies to bypass technology management. Technology management groups focus on maintaining
back-office applications. At this level, you still need to focus on maturing your organizational
structure, as change starts there. Hank Summy, vertical markets and global sales leader at
LiquidHub, told us, These older organizational practices are hardened in your organization for a
reason, but when you break those, it has the power to transform your overall business.
Sophomores (23 to 45 points). Typically, firms at this stage treat digital experience delivery
as secondary. Most of the collaboration and innovation between business and technology
management groups is coming at a grassroots level, as there are conflicting leadership agendas
and no formalized strategy to guide digital experience delivery. At this stage, you are in the throes
of maturing your strategic planning and execution. A brand manager at an insurance firm was at
this stage and told us that while the firm has the pieces in place to achieve digital success, it did
not have the right road map and leadership internally in place to enact long-term change.
Rising stars (46 to 68 points). At this level, youre committed to delivering digitally enabled customer
experiences. Youre even starting to experiment with different organizational structures, like having
a dedicated group handling digital development. But you lack the proper governance, process,
and change management practices of seasoned veterans. A director of digital engagement at a
government agency told us that the agency ran into major roadblocks because it didnt govern the
process around creating mobile experiences. It now has to rethink process to mature its strategy.
Seasoned veterans (69 to 91 points). Firms at this level are committed to digital experience
delivery and have nearly perfected the sticky areas that rising stars find challenging, like
governance, change, and organization. Technology management groups not only view digital
experience delivery as a priority; they also have increased agility and begun integrating technology
platforms. Their biggest challenge is to create an ongoing culture that, as Lars Petersen, global
director for business optimization strategies at Sitecore, told us, treats digital experience as a
product and invests in long-term sustainable technology architectures and emerging technologies.
Coaches (over 91 points). At this level, you are taking every best practice to the next tier: You
innovate in areas like strategy, organizational structures, and technology platforms to go beyond
the best practices. Youve created a true digital experience delivery body, and you operate almost
like an internal digital agency, with strong technical and customer experience competencies that
are intrinsically linked. If its hard to find seasoned veterans, its even harder to find coaches.
Enterprises face a long journey to get to this point because of legacy organizational structures,
strategies, systems, and processes.

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Citations@forrester.com or +1 866-367-7378

For Application Development & Delivery Professionals

June 22, 2016

Assess Your Digital Experience Delivery Maturity


Assessment: The Digital Experience Delivery Playbook

FIGURE 2 The Five Stages Of Digital Experience Delivery Maturity

Rookies

Sophomores

Characteristics: Digital experience delivery still hasnt taken hold in these


firms, and many projects are ad hoc and lack coordination. These firms must
focus first on organizational change.

Characteristics: Digital experience capabilities are emerging but still


limited to single-channel, ad hoc experiences. These firms must focus
on creating a cross-business strategy.

Characteristics: Digital experience capabilities have expanded, but these


firms still need to hone process improvements such as governance practices.
Rising
stars

Seasoned
veterans

Coaches

Characteristics: Digital experience capabilities are well-established across


channels and across the customer life cycle. Groups have well-established
governance and change management practices. Firms in this category
should focus next on creating a sustainable technology foundation.

Characteristics: Digital experience capabilities are down pat, and these firms
have started innovating above and beyond best practices. These firms must
treat the assessment as a continuous loop of improvement.

What It Means

Use Forresters Maturity Framework To Drive Customer Engagement


Forresters assessment framework for digital experience delivery is a powerful tool for AD&D leaders who
are transforming their groups from focusing only on back-office applications to supporting fast-moving
customer-facing applications and platforms as well. Dont make the mistake of just perusing the selfassessment; use it as the basis for an active dialogue on improving digital experience delivery. How?

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For Application Development & Delivery Professionals

June 22, 2016

Assess Your Digital Experience Delivery Maturity


Assessment: The Digital Experience Delivery Playbook

Take it. Complete the self-assessment to develop your personal view of your groups current
capability to deliver digital experiences to customers via current AD&D practices.
Compare it. Teams should share their individual results and identify any major differences. Why is
this valuable? Because if you dont identify these differences of opinion early in the process, they
will exacerbate alignment challenges down the road and cause various groups to dig their heels in
to maintain their position.9
Discuss it. Use the results both similarities and differences as the basis for active
discussions about priorities. Where should your AD&D group focus its efforts and why? Identify
areas that need improvement and create goals and objectives.
Improve it. Use the results of this assessment to create a shared digital experience delivery road
map.10 A mistake firms often make is trying to attack all goals at once. Instead, prioritize your goals
based on what will have the greatest impact on your business outcomes as well as the greatest
value to your customers.11 Validate the goals by creating a business case for the road map and
instilling governance to get it off the ground.
Measure it. After you use the assessment to prioritize initiatives, measure the impact of these
initiatives in your organization. Successful firms we spoke with keep an evolving, iterative road map
to ensure they are advancing in maturity. For example, a B2B high-tech firm stopped trying to get
everything right at once and instead built digital experience successes one iteration at a time.

Engage With An Analyst


Gain greater confidence in your decisions by working with Forrester thought leaders to apply our
research to your specific business and technology initiatives.
Analyst Inquiry

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Ask a question related to our research; a


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Put research into practice with in-depth


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Learn about interactive advisory sessions


and how we can support your initiatives.

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For Application Development & Delivery Professionals

June 22, 2016

Assess Your Digital Experience Delivery Maturity


Assessment: The Digital Experience Delivery Playbook

Supplemental Material
Online Resource
The online version of Figure 1 is an interactive tool to assess your digital experience delivery.

Endnotes
We define prioritization as being a high or critical priority over the next 12 months. Source: Forresters Global Business
Technographics Priorities And Journey Survey, 2016.

To help define the strategy, AD&D professionals should follow the lead of customer experience teams: 1) Start with
a customer journey map; 2) apply cloud-hosted, mobile-first, and insights-driven thinking; and 3) implement a digital
experience platform to serve customers along every step of their journey. See the Your Digital Experience Technology
Strategy Starts With A Customer Journey Map Forrester report.

Source: Forresters Q1 2016 Digital Experience Delivery Online Survey.

In a customer-first world where the benefits and risks of customer engagement for web and mobile experiences have
reached unprecedented levels, AD&D pros must move to bridge the gap between design and development. Creative
technologists can help solve this. Who are they? Why are they important? How do they help bridge the design and
development role? This report outlines three types of creative technologists and their roles within organizations. See
the Brief: The Creative Technologist A Hybrid Role To Help Bridge Design And Development Forrester report.

As firms like Rewe Group and Schneider Electric have learned, digital experience strategy shapes the technology
you need an investment that can take five years and cost between $20 million and $200 million. To help define the
strategy, AD&D professionals should follow the lead of customer experience teams: 1) Start with a customer journey
map; 2) apply cloud-hosted, mobile-first, and insights-driven thinking; and 3) implement a digital experience platform
to serve customers along every step of their journey. See the Your Digital Experience Technology Strategy Starts With
A Customer Journey Map Forrester report.

Source: Forresters Q1 2016 Digital Experience Delivery Online Survey.

In todays competitive environment, investing in business technologies is central to companies ability to win, serve,
and retain customers. Business execs know this, but they dont think that their CIO is positioned to help. CIOs must
turn this around by crafting a business technology agenda, distinct from their IT agenda, that keeps both B2B and
B2C customers at the center of technology decisions and provides a shared vision for the whole organization to rally
around. See the Top Technologies For Your BT Agenda Forrester report.

AD&D professionals need an array of software to create and manage the digital experience. They must evaluate,
implement, integrate, and build front-end experiences from a fragmented product landscape. Tech vendors try to help
by bringing more complete digital experience portfolios to the market. In this report, we define the components of a
digital experience platform, explore the vendors delivering these solutions, and provide insight into the approaches
they take to enable the delivery of digital experiences. See the Vendor Landscape: Digital Experience Platforms
Forrester report.

Forrester has a new digital user experience review. Like its predecessors, this heuristic evaluation relies on trained
experts performing key customer scenarios. This report outlines why we created the new review, what it tests, and
how customer experience professionals can take advantage of this technique. See the Introducing Forresters New
Digital User Experience Review Forrester report.

For more information, see the Your Digital Experience Technology Strategy Starts With A Customer Journey Map
Forrester report.

10

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10

For Application Development & Delivery Professionals

June 22, 2016

Assess Your Digital Experience Delivery Maturity


Assessment: The Digital Experience Delivery Playbook

Armed with the methods in this report, AD&D professionals can help their companies link digital experience strategy
to the technology road map. First, assess how digital interactions benefit customers and deliver value to the firm
using metrics of profitable growth like increased basket value, percentage of service delivered digitally, and mobile
onboarding. Then prioritize investments based on the total technology cost and time to deliver. Is it an extension or a
new platform investment?

11

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11

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