In what has to be seen as a nod to customer power, CIOs have turned their attention from the back office systems and processes to the front office, where Big Data analytics offers some answers to improving the customer experience, according to a new IBM (IBM) study.
In other words, CIOs have moved forward from the back lines to meet the daily, hand-to-hand business combat head on.
IBM interviewed some 1,600 CIOs worldwide representing 20 industries and 70 countries and found out that the pervasive influence of social media and mobile is fueling their investments in technology tools to help marketing, sales and service managers to improve customer satisfaction. For example, CIOs now are involved in securing technology for sentiment mining and social network analysis to uncover buying patterns and predict trends, with some two-thirds investigating new IT-based ways to serve and collaborate with customers using cloud computing and social networking tools.
And, that’s why this research should matter to channel partners. IBM’s study, the basis of a report titled, “Moving from the Back Office to the Front Lines—CIO Insights from the Global C-suite Study,” offers partners another direct line to connect the cloud to social networking analytics to the technology needs of CIOs.
"The study reveals the emerging reality that there is no longer any real distinction between the customer experience and contemporary business strategy," said Peter Korsten, IBM Institute for Business Value global leader. "The quality and nature of the front-end experience has become the point of entry to the most valuable information any enterprise can possess—information about its customers, employees or any other relevant constituent group."
What’s changed for CIOs to move them to the front lines of customer satisfaction? With the majority of CIOs in IBM’s research satisfied that their IT departments have mastered the technology basics, the time is right to advance with new engagement and technology delivery platforms aimed at building what IBM calls a “customer activated” enterprise.
That’s where the CIO opportunity for channel partners now resides.