Despite customer experience (CX) being cited as a top priority for 51% of Hong Kong businesses, the Coleman Parkes research commissioned by Rackspace Technology, revealed 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.
The report, How Applications Impact Customer Experience, found that legacy IT systems were the most common barrier (15%) to technology change cited by IT leaders, followed by complexity (13%).
The study revealed that 29% of Hong Kong IT leaders do not believe their non-tech C-suite executives fully understand the bottom-line benefits of applications, with 17% reporting that 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, 56% said it can take months or years to reach a consensus before they are implemented.
Responding to customer needs with new technology (51%) and digital transformation (45%) emerged as the top reasons which organisations give more attention when it comes to customer experience.
App modernization is worth fighting for
Despite the significant challenges that IT leaders must overcome to modernise their applications to improve their CX, research from Rackspace Technology demonstrated that many still believe it’s worth the investment. 65% of Hong Kong IT leaders said that applications have a high impact on improving CX, and 67% 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, more than three-in-five Hong Kong businesses (67%) failed to meet new regulations, more than half (54%) reported reduced levels of customer service, and 27 percent experienced a cost to the ultimate bottom-line due.
Overcoming the fears of app modernization
While the research found that a majority (75%) of Hong Kong businesses are currently modernising less than 50 percent of their applications, IT leaders are optimistic that perspectives are shifting. A large majority (90%) of Hong Kong 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, more than half (51%) of Hong Kong 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 (18%).
Sandeep Bhargava, managing director of Asia Pacific Japan (APJ) at Rackspace Technology, comments, “Customer experience remains one of the critical differentiators for companies to thrive and it is crucial to business success, particularly with the rapid adoption of digital services over the past 12 months. In the face of such great uncertainty, companies will do well to focus on adapting and enhancing customer-brand relationships to address the evolving consumer needs in Hong Kong and the region and meeting and exceeding delivery expectations.
"Based on Rackspace's research, the majority (83%) of Hong Kong respondents agree that improving CX externally for customers and partners with the applications/ services they produce is one of their organisation's key strategic priorities. However, many face barriers such as the lack of understanding of the bottom-line benefits of applications. This has led to months or years to reach a consensus before they are implemented. IT leaders need the support of business stakeholders to make the necessary improvements through investments in new applications and technologies."
“Working with a capable partner that possesses a proven track record is a great way for businesses that are concerned about complexity to embark upon this technological change with confidence and positively achieve the customer experience they aspire to.”