Only 28 per cent of Australian enterprises have a company-wide strategy for sharing data which is hindering their ability to successfully orchestrate customer experience (CX) projects, according a a new study.

Furthermore, 37 per cent of Australian organisations said that between 20-40 per cent or more of their CX projects had failed.

Of those failures almost a third (32 per cent) of survey respondents said the projects had cost $100,000-$500,000. Seven per cent had experienced project failures costing more than $500,000.

The figures are contained in a new report commissioned by Microsoft Australia and conducted by business-to-business research agency, Colmar Brunton which surveyed 505 medium to large organisations across retail, finance and government.

The report argues that “data locked away in silos, where it is not easily surfaced or accessible, will inevitably act as a brake on transformation,” and without the appropriate level of data sharing organisations will be hamstrung in their efforts to “engage customers, empower people, optimise and automate processes, and transform products and services”.

Respondents acknowledged data sharing plays a critical role in CX transformation but almost a third (30 per cent) say that there is little to no data sharing across the organisation.

Michael O’Keefe, business applications director at Microsoft said, “To transform is to reimagine the organisation in every way possible. It requires an integrated digital strategy with comprehensive access to company-wide data at its heart. This encourages informed insights and better decision-making, which in turn, delivers dramatically enhanced outcomes. Think of it as democratising your corporate data.“

When asked about the importance of data in terms of automating business processes, 83 per cent of respondents said it was “somewhat to extremely” important; 82 per cent said the same about access to data to gain a 360-degree view of the customer; and 79 per cent said it was somewhat to extremely important for generating a real time insight into the pipeline of opportunities.

Respondents noted that the two major barriers to successful CX transformation were a lack of senior management support (64 per cent) and a lack of company strategy from the board down (61 per cent). Customer and employee resistance to change also ranked highly at 55 and 56 per cent respectively.

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