Part 1: Cloud and the Customer Experience – A Changing IT Ecosystem
Technology brings tremendous opportunity to all facets of business. However, if neglected or misused, rigid technologies can prevent ecosystems from being responsive to evolving business and customer needs. The role of “the cloud” is dramatically changing the technology landscape. CIOs who want to stay ahead in today’s competitive world must be in tune to what this cloud shift means for IT organizations and the overall customer experience (CX).
A New Perspective On the Cloud
CIOs originally moved software, infrastructure, and app development to the cloud as a cost savings measure. However, company leaders now see the cloud as a conduit for business agility and innovation.
This new perspective on what the cloud can offer has a real impact on customer experience:
- Lowers the business costs of experimentation: Renting infrastructure and applications from cloud service providers lowers the expense of trying new technology, so business leaders are more willing to take risks and innovate to align with customer needs.
- Increases the speed of delivering innovations: Standing up cloud services can take days or weeks instead of the months or years we see with on-premise deployments. Therefore, business leaders can quickly identify solutions to customer business challenges and get them in the hands of their stakeholders. At EMC’s premier industry event, “EMC World 2014”, we showed how quickly we can deploy a well-run Hybrid Cloud by building one on the show floor in less than 48 hours. Now that is something that customers can get excited about!
A New Purpose for IT Organizations
The cloud makes it easy for different parts of the business to quickly solve problems. But without coordination, disparate cloud deployments can cause confusion, dissatisfaction and inefficiencies for both internal teams and customers. The IT organization has emerged as the natural facilitator to weave a common thread between cloud efforts. Research firm IDC recently predicted that over 65% of enterprise IT organizations will commit to hybridcloud before 2016. (Source: International Data Corporations, Dec 2014)
The best CIOs recognize this elevated role and will empower their IT teams to help steward the customer experience:
- Leverage IT expertise to validate customer-oriented cloud technologies: Cloud solutions affecting employee productivity, such as Google Apps or Microsoft Office 365, are controlled by IT. That’s because these tools impact the entire workforce. In this new technology era, IT also has an opportunity to share its proven cloud expertise to benefit customers and partners. With the speed offered by cloud technology, IT can more easily spread attention to customer, partner, and internal applications instead of having to choose.
- Integrate cloud services with core business data. Today, companies manage vast quantities of customer data, which are often housed in different pockets across the organization. CX-focused CIOs will embrace IT’s unique position to first activate the cloud as way to share information across functional teams and then contribute its technical expertise to help employees understand what this data means for them and their customers.
A New Phase For Customer Experience
Technology companies who expect to generate new customers and continue to satisfy existing ones must seriously evaluate their current IT infrastructure and CX ecosystem and carefully, but quickly embrace the innovations of the cloud.
This is the first blog in a three-part series on how cloud technologies are transforming the customer experience and the ecosystem that surrounds it. Part 1 (this blog) discusses how the cloud changes the dynamics of business strategies and both challenges and presents new opportunities for CIOs and IT organizations. Part 2 will illustrate the cloud’s impact on how customers and companies digitally interact with each other. Finally, Part 3 will provide insights on how the cloud changes the ways employees and partners shape the customer experience.
Click here to learn more about EMC’s Total Customer Experience Program.