Undoubtedly the IT systems are at the centre of any modern online business and consequently the IT division is crucial to achieving the wider business goals. Unfortunately, the potential downside of a traditional IT-centric business is that the core systems team has tremendous responsibility to the whole organisation. This puts it under greater pressure and can ultimately lead to bottlenecks that adversely affect the entire company. At the same time, rapidly moving sales, marketing and customer service teams want a clearer view of their digital sales channels, which can bring even more frustration. To answer this very real need however, the latest generation of automatic digital record/replay and analytics tools offer greater departmental independence, which is a big advantage for everyone concerned.
Taking a better approach
In many organisations, the IT department has traditionally taken the reins when it comes to planning and providing for the digital functions of the business. Generally, in the past this has been the best approach – dedicated professionals doing what they do best for the whole company.
If there is was a problem, the IT team knew exactly where to investigate as they tightly controlled everything digital – something which gave emerging online businesses a welcome peace of mind.
Unfortunately, this approach always presented the potential danger that the business would become completely reliant on an elite team of IT professionals. Not only would they have to provide the online services, they would also be the only team that could administer and ultimately analyse them as well.
Naturally though, rather than just continuing to be the exclusive preserve of IT professionals, the online world has evolved and we all have a greater understanding and stake in it. Therefore, every business needs to take ownership of its digital channels across the organisation, so each team can bring its individual expertise and strengths to bear when required.
This is where digital record/replay and analysis tools become a game-changer. These tools allow each departmental team to collect the data and glean insights they need, without risking the integrity of the digital channels which the IT department works so hard to enable and maintain!
As well as providing empowerment to the sales, marketing and customer service teams (with the ability to independently gain the insights they need automatically), this approach also frees the IT team from some of the burden and removes the bottleneck created around it. Executives are free to collect and analyse whichever business metrics they need, whenever they need them – be that sales conversion rates or responses to the latest offers etc.
Most of us are familiar with the term ‘The Democratisation of the Internet’. It perfectly encapsulates the evolution of the online world as a space for everyone. It has never been easier to have a well-targeted and meaningful presence online.
With a minimum of specific technical expertise, it is completely realistic to be able to engage directly with your online audience – be it at an individual level or an enterprise-sized business. This freedom was (not so long ago) the preserve of only the most proficient technical experts!
Online ‘democratisation’ also translates through to the web analytics tools available for businesses. It is no longer essential for executives to rely completely on the company’s IT division to search for and extract business insights from online traffic.
Efficient modern automatic digital record/replay solutions can either be safely installed on the business’ own servers, or on a remote online server if preferable, with the insights immediately accessible from any secure online portal.
Democratisation of information
Another important benefit of this approach, is the ability to rapidly and easily share these online insights with the appropriate business teams or individuals within the company.
For a good example of how this would be highly useful in practice, imagine the business has a popular product which suddenly receives an influx of negative customer reviews or feedback. In this instance the product manager can be notified immediately and can start an investigation to ensure there is a rapid resolution - to benefit customers and the business alike.
Another example scenario could be a sudden and unexpected fall in orders for a popular item following an update to the operating system on a popular mobile device. All the relevant stakeholders (such as the website portal team, product manager and sales manager) can be alerted quickly and given all the relevant clues to investigate what the issue might be.
If you have a complete record of all online transactions, it is much easier to investigate any issues and to get to the root cause. It is also important to remember that this approach should in no way exclude the IT department from the process. In many cases the IT team’s expertise will be crucial in investigating and remedying an issue. It just means that potential problems can be identified quickly and flagged to the stakeholder team in the best position to resolve it.
Instead of just being the company’s ‘Black Box’ for post-issues investigation, online data becomes available to all parts of the business whenever it is needed – something which helps to truly democratise any organisation and its component divisions.
Greater efficiencies and flexibility
All businesses are here to make a profit and it is much harder to grow and be successful if you aren’t fully aware of what is going on with your digital customer channels.
The real benefit of using automatic digital record/replay and digital insight technology is that by offering this visibility it truly empowers any digital business to understand its customers and how they interact with its products and services. Then it can take charge and make decisions that best suit the organisation as a whole.
It may seem like a subtle change, but by treating this analytical data as a business metric, rather than just as a IT measurement, you can empower key executives and their teams with invaluable insights that can literally save a business. The added bonus is that the IT team is freed up from time-consuming tasks, which allows it to put greater focus on its core activity of providing the essential systems and infrastructure the business needs.
This approach ensures that any business has the agility to prepare for growth or contraction of its sales (or specific markets), knowing full well that it has full visibility of the situation at any point and is flexible to meet any potential challenge it may face.
Audelia Boker, VP of Marketing, Glassbox
Image Credit: Konica Minolta Business Solutions UK