An IBM survey said more than 60 percent of CIOs will focus on improving the customer experience and getting closer to customers.
This is because consumers are engaging more directly with businesses through mobile and social media, IBM said in its survey called Moving from the Back Office to the Front Lines – CIO Insights from the Global C-suite Study.
The CIO report is based on face-to-face conversations with more than 1,600 CIOs from 70 countries and 20 industries worldwide.
More than 80 percent of CIOs say they are shifting their focus to the front office where marketing, sales and service managers work directly with customers.
Enterprise CIOs are investing in new technologies to gain insights into customer data. Examples of these items include sentiment mining and social network analysis to identify unique behavioral patterns and reliably predict critical trends.
New Technologies for Engagement
CIOs at outperforming enterprises recognize that technology factors will have a significant impact on their organizations, according to IBM’s study. This focus on technology represents a notable shift over the past five years — in 2009, CIOs ranked technology factors as their sixth biggest pressure point behind categories like market factors and macro-economic changes.
“There have been significant changes over the past eight years. One big change is accessibility. IT didn’t always have an equal seat at the table. Now, my peers are far more tech savvy,” Nick Smither, CIO of Ford Motor Company told IBM as part of the study research.
Getting the basics right has become table stakes for CIOs looking to push their enterprise forward with new engagement and technology delivery platforms.
66 percent of CIOs believe their IT departments have mastered the basics of technology within their firms. This investment in knowledge and skills is freeing up CIOs to look at new platforms that enable them to build a “Customer-Activated” enterprise.
As customer engagement becomes a critical driver for CIOs, cloud computing has soared in importance with 64 percent of CIOs naming it as part of their visionary plans compared to 30 percent in 2009.
Mobility solutions have also experienced a similar jump in importance with 84 percent saying it’s their top focus compared to 68 percent in 2009. With these as a main driver, two-thirds of CIOs are now exploring how to better serve and collaborate with customers using cloud computing and social networking tools.