Gartner: the customer-centric organisation and creative destruction

At its annual Symposium/ITxpo in Orlando, Gartner has been highlighting some ICT urgencies, advising businesses to “respond to social and collaborative computing trends.” Furthermore, Gartner analysts are warning CIOs and IT managers for another recession and pressure on IT budgets. A post on that recession, the customer-centric organisation and creative destruction.

A new recession is coming and Gartner wants to make sure CIOs know it and are prepared. According to an article on CIO.com, covering the Orlando event, Gartner’s CEO even spoke of a “period of unprecedented uncertainty.” Gartner says the impact of the coming recession will be felt on IT budgets next year. However, at the same time ICT and technology have proven to play an important role for businesses that want to make a positive difference in rough economic times. And they will continue to do so.

The technologies that should be in place to thrive in a ‘post-modern world’ are known and revolve around customers, efficiency and collaboration. Information, data, mobility and ease-of-use are key factors to make that much needed positive difference.

It’s not a coincidence that the differentiators Gartner identifies for IT managers, and CIOs are the same as we see in other business functions such as marketing, customer service and even the organisation as a whole. The main differentiating factor for businesses that want to succeed, despite the recession, is the customer.

The customer-centric organisation: focus on context, collaboration and information

A customer-centric organisation, whereby the customer is at the centre of the whole business, including ICT processes, design and development, is a must. Furthermore, the inevitable need to innovate and even reorganize with that customer in mind requires businesses to dispose of the right information and data when and where they are necessary to provide value. Knowing the customer is more important than ever, yet it also requires a clear understanding and even single view across all channels people use to find information and interact.

Knowing the context in which the customer is active, regarding his buying journey, preferences, media consumption, devices, needs, touch points and every possible other dimension, is key. It’s not about having a lot of data, although Big Data is a reality to take into account offering plenty of opportunities. In the first place, however, it’s about having the right data and being able to use it in an integrated way to offer real-time and consistent interactions to clients. Turning data into insights and acting upon it.

Obviously this requires an integration of technological platforms, an ability to listen and respond and a collaboration between departments and individuals, regardless of their place in the business ecosystem. In his opening keynote, Gartner’s Peter Sondergaard referred to the consumerisation of IT as the driver of an “era of mass collaboration“.

Gartner also reminded attendees of context aware computing at Symposium/ITxpo, CIO.com wrote. It’s not the first time, and it will not be the last time. Offering personalised content and experiences is crucial in the customer-centric reality.

Creative destruction: the foundations of the post-modern building

Another concept Gartner talked about is “creative destruction.” In other words: dare to break organisational and other walls down, redefine processes and reduce corporate silos in order to enable creativity and innovation.

It may sound as a profound risk but as Gartner’s Tina Nunno (see picture) said, I again quote from CIO.com, “destroy perfectionism and embrace calculated risk”. Or to stay in the context of walls and a post-modern world: the time to lay the foundations of the post-modern building is now.

This principle of creative destruction also has an impact on CIOs. As was said during the opening keynote “CIOs will be lessen their role as service providers and strengthen their role as IT leaders and, by so doing, embrace the principle of creative destruction.”

The recession is coming, the empowered customer rules, his experience defines value, and collaboration that goes beyond the old structures is key to make the difference. Combine that with mobile, social and real-time innovation, and the ingredients for success are in place.

Technology enables it, in a secure and efficient way. People make it happen, both on an organisational and technological level.

More insights and data in this article on CIO.com. You can also follow the annual Symposium/ITxpo in Orlando live via this Gartner blog, where you can also watch the sessions on demand.


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