The Changing Role of IT in the Customer Experience Era

The role of IT as just a back-office function within an organization is a thing of the past.

Customer Experience on Modern Style Illustation with yellow arrow.

Image source: tashatuvango / Adobe Stock.

by Cynthia Stoddard

posted on 02-17-2020

The majority of today’s chief information officers (28%) are leading their organization’s digital transformation. And Adobe research points out that transformation most often entails reorienting people, processes, and technology around the customer. Today’s chief information officer (CIO) plays a role in enabling customer experience more often than not.

CIOs are increasingly essential to driving strong business impact, playing a role in customer experience (CX), and enabling their stakeholders to serve customers with relevant, timely, and in-context experiences throughout the purchase journey.

That doesn’t mean that CIOs or their teams are building out customer-facing campaigns or communications. But, they are working closely with marketing and other customer-facing disciplines to build a flexible technology foundation that empowers stakeholders around the company to create, collaborate on, and ultimately deliver and measure these types of experiences.

Content velocity

CIOs and their teams are more concerned with content velocity than ever before. This wasn’t on our radar five years ago.

Today, there’s no denying that content is integral to delivering personalized customer experiences at scale. Businesses need the right content for every touchpoint in the customer journey, and the right technology framework is key to that. In the past, the marketing department would just go out and license a solution. While this still does happen in a silo in some organizations, most technology leaders are finding they are playing a consultant-like role in helping their stakeholders find the right technology to power things like content velocity.

Cloud-native solutions typically mean applications that are current, scalable, and addressable. While cloud-hosted services typically cost less, this approach has its limitations, especially when compared to cloud-native services. Over the long term, the cloud-native model actually delivers a lower total cost of ownership (TCO). Additionally, adopting cloud-native technology and practices empowers enterprises to create more experiences in-house, and forces marketing teams to closely partner with IT professionals, which breaks down silos and results in better results and cost savings.

A content management system ( CMS) should increase efficiency. As such, ease of use is vital as is the speed at which users can create, manage, personalize, and deliver content. Other things to watch out for are deployment infrastructure, flexibility in design, and multi-site management, third-party integration capabilities, as well as security and post-purchase support.

AI integrations to drive higher ROI by empowering stakeholders to take action on real-time data and insights are also imperative. And finally, a good CMS should enable omnichannel experiences across any channel, device, or application.

The CIO role in CX today

CX is about creating, managing, delivering, measuring, and optimizing experiences across all touchpoints so that they are seamless and fluid. CIOs have executed a data-driven operating model across the customer journey, where we integrate data across the entire enterprise into a unified data architecture — this helps run the business, drive predictive data insights, and deliver personalization. CIOs need to have this holistic view of the customer, which is key to enabling customer-centricity.

This article was originally published on Information Week.

Topics: Digital Transformation

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