COVID-19 accelerates focus on customer experience solutions, with 80% of CX applications expected to be in the cloud by 2023

Santa Clara, Calif. – March 10, 2021 – Frost & Sullivan’s recent analysis, 2021 Predictions—COVID-19 Accelerates CX Investments, finds that organizations across the globe are inclined to invest in advanced technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI) to enhance the customer experience (CX) and overcome the adverse impact of COVID-19. The pandemic challenges have catalyzed technology trends across the globe and accelerated organizations’ digital transformations sooner than initially predicted. Organizations are shifting to remote work and smaller satellite offices as security and network reliability become critical factors in delivering excellent CX beyond COVID-19.

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“Apart from navigating through COVID-19 challenges, improving CX and satisfaction is also a top business goal for 2021. Companies recognize the importance of CX and even measure their digital transformation success on customer satisfaction but tend to invest in solutions that only solve short-term problems,” said Alpa Shah, Global VP of CX Research at Frost & Sullivan. “More than 50% of businesses have already invested in IoT and digital visualization. The former offers potential for enhanced CX for organizations in insurance, healthcare, and manufacturing with its monitoring capabilities, and the latter can be valuable for agent desktops to improve employee performance.”

Shah added: “The retail/wholesale, travel/hospitality, energy, and education industries will invest in AI to facilitate innovation and are most interested in using the technology to boost CX. On the other hand, banking and finance companies, along with government and transportation, are focusing on cost efficiencies.”

Investments in technologies will drive growth opportunities in organizations that are undergoing digital transformation. Key findings include:

  • Big data analytics takes the lead on investments in transformative technologies, followed by IoT and data visualization. More than 75% of organizations will be investing in these solutions by 2022.
  • Post-pandemic plans for technology investments are focused on moving applications to the cloud (31%), followed by video conferencing (25%). Over the next two years, 80% of CX solutions are expected to be in the cloud.
  • The key digital transformation objectives in 2021 are adapting to the new work modes (35%), accelerating digital customer engagement self-serve (31%), and enhancing e-commerce capabilities (30%).
  • For 44% of companies, customer satisfaction is the prevalent method for measuring digital transformation success, which aligns with top business goals and investment priorities.
  • Cybersecurity continues to be the top concern for 51% of companies; this is only exacerbated by the number of remote workers caused by the pandemic. COVID-19 has augmented the move to the cloud and the use of digital commerce and digital marketing. While CX is a top corporate goal, CX investments are not ranked high.
  • Delivering a holistic customer journey is top of mind among end-user businesses. Finance, healthcare, and travel and hospitality organizations are focused on managing the entire customer journey; high-tech and transportation companies want to leverage CX information across all departments.
  • For North American and Latin American companies, the top business goal is improving CX, while Europe is centering on automating business processes and APAC in boosting operational efficiencies.

2021 Predictions—COVID-19 Accelerates CX Investments is the latest addition to Frost & Sullivan’s Information & Communication Technologies research and analyses available through the Frost & Sullivan Leadership Council, which helps organizations identify a continuous flow of growth opportunities to succeed in an unpredictable future. The research was conducted with 3,284 decision-makers across four regions.

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2021 Predictions—COVID-19 Accelerates CX Investments



Zuzana Zukarnain

Global Corporate Communications


About Zuzana Zukarnain

Zuzana Zukarnain is a Corporate Communication Executive with over five years of experience in Social Media Marketing and Public Relations.

Zuzana Zukarnain

Zuzana Zukarnain is a Corporate Communication Executive with over five years of experience in Social Media Marketing and Public Relations.

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