PegaWorld 2017: Digital Transformation is about Incremental Transformation
By Jim Sinur
(Aragon Research) – The theme at this year’s PegaWorld was “Be Future Empowered,” which goes beyond the “built for change” theme – Pegasystems is suggesting that it supports any new and emerging cloud option as well as empowers business users to make quick changes to deal with shifting business. The side benefit to Pega empowering change is the ability to incrementally transform to your organization’s version of digital while delivering incremental benefits. This approach also allows for making in-flight adjustments to your transformation journey. This theme was repeated in one case study after another.
Better Customer Experience, Operational Efficiency, and Business Agility
While Alan Trefler proudly stood in front of a list of companies that are clients of Pega, he pronounced that Pegaworld was no “Awesome Tech Event” with no luminaries, no mass delusions, and no BS. He went on to claim real intelligence by having metaphors generating code instead of raw code; real automaton by having outcome driven in process context results; and real choice for alternative cloud, database, and channel options. The sub-theme was “GET REAL” and the main tent and breakout session case studies supported this theme. Pega promises a great customer experience, better operational efficiency, and better business agility – most case studies had all three.
While Pega offers a strong Digital Business Platform for business operations, it also offers some great pre-canned and customizable solutions for Marketing, Sales, and Customer Service. Several examples were given from the stage about simple, intelligent, always-listening bots to help organizations lift their old legacy (brown fields) to a higher level.
Case Studies: Customer Journey and Digital Transformation
I was impressed by two case studies on the first of the two days I attended. The first was GM, who had mapped out its customer touch points and where new digital experiences could help. In fact, GM was planning to interject more touch point options for customers using real-time data to allow customers to deal with emerging service issues. This is a great use of digital to enhance the customer experience and lead through great customer touch points in the overall relationship.
Hanover Insurance lead us through its digital transformation plans that had already delivered benefits on its way to better operational efficiency and channel management. Hanover Insurance stressed the importance of the business-led approach that used incremental improvement through Pega’s agile Digital Business Platform (DBP). The fact that business and IT could collaborate on the DBP was a key facilitator to success. The DBP was used within a very carefully phased architecture that guided the incremental efforts. The benefits thus far have been encouraging enough to pursue many more steps. While Hanover is not done, it is proving its digital journey beneficial and satisfying.
Pega’s clients are walking the talk. It was great to see many digital journeys started, partially completed, and future steps mapped. I can’t argue with success. It might be not as exciting as other conferences, but the results at PegaWorld speak for themselves.