Inside-out + outside-in

The rise of extended organizational ecosystems have expanded the boundaries of the customer experience beyond single technology platforms, into multiple locations (both physical and digital) and through multiple players/actors/providers.

In this environment, connecting the dots between inside-out and outside-in approaches has become a MUST HAVE for any modern business. That means looking at the way customers experience a business, then considering the underlying business processes that support, interact with, or affect that experience. Companies that thrive are the ones that leverage the combination of OpEx and CX; that is, operational excellence and customer experience.

However, when we talk about a ‘company’, especially a global business, what we are really referring to is a set of ‘artifacts’ that are linked together in varying ways. These include everything from the IT system and its infrastructure, the corporate decision-making framework and the people who execute it, right down to individual workers within specific business units across the world.

The end of uncertainty?

In a complex business made up of these artifacts, business transformation can seem like more trouble than it’s worth. However, the inside-out/outside-in approach (that is, the combination of OpEx and CX) allows organizations to examine the way they work end-to-end, rather than isolating individual artifacts and attempting to determine how they fit into the business as a whole.

This end-to-end traceability goes beyond creating a single source of truth within a business. It actually enables a more secure approach to business transformation by taming the uncertainty inherent in any change.

By ensuring decision-makers can see the impacts of any process optimization initiatives on both customers and internal processes, the combination of OpEx and CX makes it easier to allocate resources in the right ways, and therefore ensure a consistent and speedy return on investment.

The combination of OpEx and CX explained

For more insights on how the combination of OpEx and CX can enhance ROI, download our white paper about getting the ROI equation right. It shows how and why an emphasis on both customers and processes is needed to maximize the return on investment (ROI) for business transformation initiatives.

Packed with timely and relevant data based on 2021 research from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Center for Information Systems Research (MIT CISR), you’ll also discover where your business stands on the process maturity scale and get advice on choosing the right tools to support both CX and OpEx.

Bridging the gap between why, how, and what

Any business transformation solution that seeks to have a positive impact on how an organization runs must ensure the triple-whammy of “Why?” “How?” and “What?” are answered. Another way to look at this is to ensure the transformation is able to translate any agreed outcomes/directions from the overall strategic plan (why), into concrete transformation initiatives (how) that will end up changing the company’s current reality (what).

One critical success factor remains the ability to capitalize on any transformation cycle to learn, isolate patterns and define best practices. This is applicable not only to the underlying business processes being analyzed and optimized, but also to the process of transformation itself.

In any business, the day workers realize that transformation is a journey is the day the paradigm shifts. Workers at all levels realize transformation is a process in its own right, a process they can understand and contribute to, and one to which they can apply the same solutions they have already implemented in their business processes.

Reaching process maturity, intelligently

This paradigm shift can also be thought of as the organization taking a step forward on the path to process maturity. This has many components, but simply put, process maturity comes when an organization takes a process-oriented approach in all things.

Process optimization and business transformation is not a one-off project, or a “thing we do,” but an ongoing way of working, and seen as a strategic priority across the entire company.

Approaching process maturity can also be seen as a catalyst to reach the status of an intelligent enterprise. In general, an intelligent enterprise is one that:

  • Connects the dots between people, process, data and technology
  • Embraces analytics to make informed decisions (reactive and proactive)
  • Enables enterprise-wide collaboration to leverage the wisdom of the crowd, and put workers at the center of transformation
  • Is adaptive and constantly challenging the status quo, particularly to encourage the combination of OpEx and CX
  • Encourages continuous innovation


For more detail on what makes an intelligent enterprise, and how Signavio and SAP can help organizations reach that goal, check out our recent presentation on how Signavio works for SAP customers. Delivered as part of the PartnerEdge conference, the presentation also touches on why the combination of OpEx and CX is so effective for businesses of all shapes and sizes.

Published on: June 15th 2021 - Last modified: June 15th, 2021