Multi-channel, cross-channel, omni-channel: all modern terms that are used to describe the evolving way in which users access systems and services. With the advent of smartphones and tablets, companies adopted a multi-channel strategy where customers could access the same system on a range of devices and platforms.
Cross-channel systems represented an evolution of this approach, allowing customers to engage in interactions that moved between channels. Customers now increasingly expect all the channels available to them – web, desktop, smartphone, tablet, wearables, … – to act as one seamless service: an omni-channel experience.
With the proliferation of platforms and devices, how can this realistically be achieved? From a technology perspective, the past decade has been a frenzy. The rapid adoption of smartphones and tablets has resulted in many businesses being reactive rather than strategically planned. This has particularly been seen in the capital markets sector where rapid adoption has been done in a fragmented manner.
This new world in which we live is a constant headache and challenge for IT departments. Is it possible to deliver a full suite of services on each device, for each technology at the same level of quality? Is it really necessary, given the potentially large investment required?
How to tackle the platform explosion?
At Scott Logic we feel the only way to tackle this platform explosion and to build an omni-channel experience is to move away from considering each platform in isolation, and away from the mindset that all systems must be available on each and every device. After all, each platform has its own unique capabilities and features that should be exploited and combined.
In our recent white paper, Making Technology Disappear: Building Omni-channel Systems for Capital Markets, we look further into these challenges within the sector and explore and address the importance of user experience, rather than devices, when building an omni-channel system.