Business leaders are increasingly focused on making customer experience a priority, but the barriers to delivering on that promise are often less well understood.

A new ebook exploring seven of the most impactful tech trends for 2022 provides some clarity on the issues companies need to address.

The ebook Seven tech trends set to shape your future draws on research and insights from the Datacom-sponsored IDC InfoBrief, Hays, IT Visionaries podcast and Salesforce Research, including the 'CIO Playbook: How Salesforce’s IT team use Salesforce to improve innovation, productivity & culture', 'State of the Connected Customer', 'State of Marketing'.

Integration is identified as one area where companies need to focus more attention.

In medium to large companies the average number of different apps being used is 900 but only 28% of these are typically connected or integrated.

The result? Nearly 60% of customers have a fragmented, unsatisfying experience that “general feels like they are communicating with separate departments rather than one united company”.

Those disconnected experiences can be incredibly damaging to customer retention and loyalty, given that 80% of customers say the experience a company provides is just as important as its products or services.

Other trends explored in the ebook Seven tech trends set to shape your future include data and the drive to use it to understand customers in real-time and meet changing needs, the need to support employees to upskill, and the massive potential for AI to improve customer experiences - but only if it is done right.

The appetite to implement AI solutions is significant: 83% of IT leaders say AI is transforming customer engagement and 84% of marketers report using AI in their activities, which is an almost 30% jump over the past three years.

But research shows the skills and planning around AI are not keeping up with the enthusiasm. IT leaders have reported that AI plans and strategies are among the least defined of any IT topic and internal skills sets to support AI initiatives are extremely low.

Download the full “Seven tech trends set to shape your future” ebook now for more insights.

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