A recent Deloitte study of 1,200 Chief Information Officers (CIOs) found that there are really just three different types of information leader within organisations today:
- The trusted operator, who focuses on supplying cost-effective reliable infrastructure
- The change instigator, who takes the lead on new business transformation and change initiatives
- The business co-creators, who spend their time driving business strategy and using technology to dramatically change and lead the business
I think this is fascinating and I’m sure you can think of technology and information leaders who fall into all three of these groups, however it was interesting to see that Deloitte advises all CIOs that they should flow between the three areas during their career. You can’t be a success just by sticking to what you know for an entire career.
I think that if we focused our attention solely on the kind of technologies that are supporting the customer experience then only the second two could survive right now. Providing the experience that customers expect has changed faster than possibly any other area of business in the past 6 or 7 years – there really is no idea of business as usual because each New Year brings new trends and technologies that need to be adopted.
Omnichannel has been one of the key technologies at the forefront of change, firstly because customers demanded that they could communicate across multiple channels. So multichannel support was offered and then by knitting together the way these channels function an omnichannel was created.
But now there is a situation where designing your customer interface to be consistent across online, in-store, and on any channel can create greater revenues. The improved customer experience does not just keep customers happy, it creates more cash for your business.
In 2016 I believe areas like Robotic Process Outsourcing will be extremely important, meaning that the leader responsible for the customer experience does need to be fully conversant with emerging technologies. At the recent Engage Customer conference in London the first keynote speaker appeared on stage with a robot – not just any robot, but one that could have a normal conversation and with the ability to read your facial expressions. The robot knows if you are happy or sad!
Businesses are being transformed by technology. Where they are refocusing around the customer experience it is going to require the change experts and co-creators – there is no business as usual in 2016.