At its 2012 Business Process & Architecture Forum, which will be held October 18-19 in Orlando, FL, Forrester Research is focusing squarely on effectively managing digital disruption in the enterprise. In an interview with CMSWire, Forrester Research Director Steve Powers explained the philosophy on digital disruption attendees can expect to learn about.

Customer Experience Evolution Creates Disruption

“We’re seeing the whole idea of customer experience changing very quickly,” said Powers. “There is a customer inflection point where the customer will either continue to work with you or try someone else. Customer experience is a huge factor in influencing the outcome of that inflection point.”

Powers said the rapid evolution of multichannel and cross-channel customer interaction, as well as increased expectations for personalized service, present a serious technological challenge. “Traditional IT teams can’t keep up,” he said.

Agile Response Combats Disruption

As a result, Powers said marketing teams often outsource or subsource their technology needs.

“What do you, as an IT department, have to do to get marketing to work with you and not around you?” he asked.

The answer, according to Powers, is a dismantling of the traditional silos separating IT and marketing. He gave the example of one Forrester client who embedded the IT and marketing departments into a “digital experience group." This got IT involved in developing marketing tools during the initial design process, instead of serving as a “black box” at the end of the project. He also mentioned that some companies maintain a traditional IT department but divide it into a front office group responsible for designing and delivering customer experience, and a back office group responsible for functions such as ERP and HR.

Powers also advised companies to consider a best-of-breed approach when implementing customer experience technologies -- but cautioned against using too many different point solutions. “No one vendor can provide all the right components,” he said. “You should use solution sets from different vendors and see how to tie them together.”

For example, Powers said an organization might use marketing automation and testing/optimization tools from one vendor and then integrate them with e-commerce and analytics tools from another.

Key Sessions on 'Disrupting' Disruption

Several key sessions during the Forrester conference will focus specifically on how companies can disrupt disruption, so to speak, by using technology and business process to turn digital customer experience trends to their advantage. They include:

  • Thursday, Oct. 18, 8:45-9:15 AM - The Disruptor's Handbook: How To Make The Most Of Digital Disruption: This keynote from James L. McQuivey, Ph.D., Vice President, Principal Analyst, Forrester Research will help attendees understand the transformative effect of digitally empowered customers, assess their company's readiness for digital disruption internally and externally, and adopt the skills and policies that accelerate their organization's embrace of digital disruption.
  • Thursday, Oct. 18, 11:25 AM - 12:10 PM - Implementing The Different In The Age of Digital Disruption: Craig Le Clair, Vice President, Principal Analyst, Forrester Research will explain how to make the shift from analog to digital business processes and use mobile as a catalyst for driving digital process transformation.
  • Thursday, Oct. 18, 4:05 PM - 04:35 PM - Don’t Let Digital Disruption Cause Information Corruption: Michele Goetz, Senior Analyst, Forrester Research will discuss a framework for data quality to ensure that customers can rely on the information they use on any device from laptops to mobile.
  • Friday, Oct. 19, 1:15 – 1:45 PM – Innovating for Disruption: Nigel Fenwick, Vice President, Principal Analyst, Forrester Research will explain how business architecture can help integrate innovation into existing planning processes.