Thousands of major companies are devoting significant resources to improving the digital experiences of customers, according to a new survey of IT leaders across manufacturing, financial services, retail, healthcare and other sectors in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
The survey from Rackspace Technology features the insights of 1,420 IT decision-makers from companies with $300 million annual earnings revenue and above who were polled from March to May on a variety of topics related to customer experience.
According to the survey, 94% of all respondents said their organization was working on some kind of user experience initiative, with 48% citing it as a "main strategic priority" ahead of IT security and compliance. More than 40% said it was also more important than IT strategy as well.
Overall, respondents reported "1.6x higher brand awareness, 1.5x more employee satisfaction and nearly double their rates of customer retention, repeat purchases, average order values and customer lifetime value."
More than 54% of IT leaders in the survey said a variety of applications were helping to improve customer experience and 48% said they saw an expansion of availability in their services. Another 45% said they found added benefits to security, customer engagement and process improvement.
The benefits were also having a trickle-down effect according to respondents, 88% of which said non-technical C-suite executives understood how beneficial applications were. According to the survey, 90% of respondents said the senior management at their company had a much better understanding of how applications were benefiting the organization than they did five years ago.
More than 60% of respondents said technology was being used to drive automation and more than half said IoT and cloud initiatives were also benefiting. Respondents also said real-time data analysis and customer engagement was improving thanks to the investments in technology.
The survey also asked about the barriers organizations face in adopting application technology, with 28% citing fear of negative impacts on customer experience and 26% saying legacy IT systems were holding them back.
Other reasons ranged from limited budgets to a lack of staff with the necessary skills or expertise.