May 15th, 2013 by Forrester Research

The following post was written by Anjali Yakkundi, an analyst at Forrester Research serving application development and delivery professionals.

Forrester recently surveyed 233 digital customer experience professionals with decision-making roles in digital experience (DX) technologies, asking them about priorities, sourcing decisions, and strategic direction. In this survey, we debunked a few widely held exaggerations: that IT is declining, marketing is the new king, and mobile applications have replaced the Web. Instead, we found a much more muddled picture, where many different stakeholders are balancing many different priorities. Here’s what we uncovered.

Organizations prioritize the Web. Mobile applications are still important (44 percent of respondents said they were prioritizing tablet apps and 42 percent said they were prioritizing mobile apps for phones and other mobile devices), but this doesn’t mean that Web concerns are disappearing. It’s quite the opposite. Web initiatives remain a top priority. Eighty percent of respondents said that traditional (e.g., desktop) Web initiatives were a top priority, while 59 percent said mobile Web for tablet and 56 percent said mobile Web (excluding tablets) were a priority.

It won’t all be about the marketer. We hear from various outlets that marketing is now calling the shots and IT is becoming a dinosaur. But it’s not going to be an either/or situation when it comes to IT and marketing. As far as technology delivery, similar numbers of respondents said IT (20 percent) and marketing (18 percent) were the final decision makers. And it’s not just IT or marketing that are making those decisions. Also on that list, according to our survey respondents, are, among others, dedicated customer experience teams (4 percent), shared service marketing technology groups (9 percent), lines of business (12 percent), and e-business groups (14 percent).

Analytics interest grows as big data meets digital customer experience. Most organizations have just touched the tip of the iceberg with their customer data initiatives, which continue to be siloed by channel and isn’t easily digestible by business users. Our survey found analytics technology was the number one technology priority among our survey respondents:  Fifty-six percent of respondents reported it was a priority in the coming 12 to 24 months.

Our latest report on this survey data goes even deeper into some of these issues, but, clearly, supporting delivery of digital customer experiences is a complicated balancing act.

Does this data reflect your own reality? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section.

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