Industry News

Agencies vs Digital Software Engineers. Who Does What in a Digital Transformation Journey?

November 17, 2021

Your business faces challenges that require digital transformation solutions. You need help moving your staff, internal processes, and customer-facing strategies into a digital-first framework. The question is: who do I need to approach to get this job done effectively?

The answer is not a simple one. Digital Transformation can be a complex journey; with the right digital partners, a smooth transition is achievable. We have a more in-depth explainer article on Digital Transformation here.

Depending on the size and complexity of your business, one or both of the following partners will help build out your digital transformation journey. Each partner plays a distinct role and delivers the right aspects required to complete a well thought out digital strategy.

Digital Agencies

The term “digital agency” covers a broad range of digital activities. These include website design, UI/UX specialists, mobile application development, creative design, digital marketing, SEO specialists, content specialists, and many more. As the list of digital touchpoints expands, popularity in utilizing specialist agencies increases as well. These agencies focus on specialized areas of the digital customer journey.

From a user interface perspective, agencies are typically responsible for delivering great customer interfaces, whether on mobile devices, websites, mobile apps, or social media. UI/UX design is often firmly planted in the agency development process. Front end development typically lies in the hands of your chosen agency.

Digital Software Engineering Companies 

How do Digital Software Engineers fit into the journey? Where does their work begin and agency work end?

There is no fine line dividing the two types of services, which can make this complicated. The best explanation is found by looking at what is required for a great digital roadmap to be successfully delivered.

Conceptualising and delivering a great digital customer journey only succeeds if the data framework that supports the front end comprises of well-designed processes. An added complexity is that many businesses today include legacy systems. These systems were never envisaged to integrate into digital cloud solutions and many challenges come with integration. Building out API layers to wrap older legacy systems, and then attempting to enable integration into cloud front ends, is an example of these challenges.

This is where Digital Software Engineers’ expertise makes this part of the digital customer journey seamless. Digital Software Engineers build out and deliver digital roadmaps to ensure that all systems in the business align to collect and manage data and keep the data architecture scalable and secure.

Digital Software Engineers’ input into the digital transformation roadmap is invaluable, as they are the team that typically delivers the projects to complete the roadmap. Their mandate moves beyond the customer-facing solutions as they delve into the systems that run throughout business processes. This includes back-end systems required for seamless delivery of products and services to the end customer.

A real-world use case

One of Cagan Tech’s clients, a large healthcare insurer, went through a digital transformation process that included transferring customers to a  self-service portal. This enabled customers to access their healthcare profile, submit and receive personal information, and action tasks. Previously, customers were required to call the call centre to undertake these tasks.

On the other hand the front-end self-service portal was designed and developed by the client’s incumbent digital agency. To access the customer data, Cagan Tech’s digital software engineers built out APIs and performed complex integrations with legacy systems. Cagn Tech also built out a new data platform to enable the self-service portal seamless data access, ensuring a better customer experience.

A great Digital Transformation Team includes both types of expertise

Digital Agencies and Digital Software Engineering companies work hand in hand to deliver a well thought out and optimally designed customer experience solution. It is important that each one understands the skills and requirements of the business and recognizes the effectiveness of working together as one team.

Digital Transformation requires bright minds to come together to find solutions. Only a win-win attitude by all players on the digital transformation team will result in exceptional delivery, ensuring the customer’s experience is the top priority.

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