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    Building superior customer experiences has cast a long shadow at most organizations, as many scramble to transform their traditional business models around the customer. It’s also a topic that still confounds in its simplicity. While the idea of delivering the best customer experiences seems obvious, coordinating the systems, processes, and people to do so is certainly not.

    For some time, we have extensively talked about the critical connections between an organization’s content and the eventual experiences of customers. They are, of course, halves of a whole. Yet, for many content professionals, the customer, at times, seems so far away to be non-existent. This is one of the biggest hurdles for enterprises.

    Organizations who excel in customer experience not only understand customer-centricity priorities of the enterprise, but they also understand the importance of organizing consistently around the needs of the customer, according to digital transformation consulting firm Capgemini. As with any other strategy in the organization, employees must believe that every action they take has a direct impact on the business outcome. Instilling this kind of belief system throughout the business is what executing on your strategy is all about.

    Organizations who excel in customer experience not only understand customer-centricity priorities of the enterprise, but they also understand the importance of organizing consistently around the needs of the customer.

    As an industry, we have come a long way in redefining how we engage and communicate with our customers. Many of you who read our publication have made great strides in incorporating data-driven decision making and enhanced multi-channel campaigns, while many more are beginning to look toward artificial intelligence (AI) technology to understand context and customer intent for each interaction. According to IDC, 37% of surveyed organizations are actively looking at AI technologies to enhance their customer communications management (CCM) effectiveness.

    Innovations like AI, the Internet of things, and robotic process automation (RPA) have certainly advanced digital transformation efforts within organizations, but many overlook back-office functions and aligning these efforts with operational processes. This gap is one of the reasons why so many organizations fail in the implementation phase. “It is impossible to understand customer needs and improve their experiences without the right information feeding decision-making systems,” says analyst David Mario Smith.

    Driving real transformation across the enterprise will require untangling disparate systems, tearing down information siloes, and freeing data from its shackles to deliver actionable value for the business. We continue to be committed to this vision, and I hope that the articles in our upcoming Spring 2019 issue begin to show you the steps required for this journey. The inherent connections between strategic vision, information, organizational alignment, governance, and culture is the bedrock of our annual event, DSF ’19, May 7-9 in Anaheim.

    Over 11 years ago, we believed that all the various lines of business in an organization needed to converge in one place to actualize their dreams. This year, we have collected some of these “digital masters” to share how they truly drive digital transformation across the enterprise. I hope to see all of you in Anaheim!

    Allison Lloyd serves as the Editor of DOCUMENT Strategy Media. She delivers thought leadership on strategic and plan-based solutions for managing the entire document, communication, and information process. Follow her on Twitter @AllisonYLloyd.