The business expectations for IT have never been higher

“The aspirations – and current expectations – for IT have never been higher.” That’s how McKinsey starts an article on its sixth annual business technology survey. 

Creating platforms to support innovation and growth, dealing with strategic demands for better data an analytics, and, obviously, mobile, are among many other priorities.

However, regardless of the exact IT priorities and key technology areas, the main takeaway is that the role of IT is growing, as is reflected in the willingness to spend more on information technology.

Customer-centricity is not a slogan anymore

IT is a means to an end, and if there is anything we should remember from all the surveys, reports and data we have seen in 2011 and have been tackled on this blog, it is this: businesses are more than ever including IT in their overall business goals, supporting new ways of collaboration and working (work as an activity instead of a place) and, most importantly, focussing on the customer.

We live in times where the customer is at the centre of what we do. In fact, he is increasingly in control. Now, haven’t we heard this all before? Yes, we have. Customer-centricity has been a slogan since we started talking about CRM. Today, organisations that still see it as a slogan, instead of a business reality, are missing the point.

The customer is demanding: listen to what he asks

Let’s not forget that, despite the rosy outlook for IT investments as depicted in McKinsey’s survey, the economic outlook is not rosy at all.

Making a difference in tough circumstances will be, as it really always has been, about putting the business goals and thus by definition customers first. Efficiency, speed of business, agility and properly measured processes that go beyond organisational silos, go hand in hand with customer satisfaction, operational excellence and profit.

Decisions need to be supported with the right data, both on the business and customer side. There is no room for disconnected business processes anymore. Everything is connected despite the increasing number of technologies and devices, and the complexity of a multichannel customer.

IT is more important than it was before and expectations are indeed high. Effectiveness, customer-centric innovation and properly aligned priorities are the keywords to remember when it boils down to the specific expectations we should keep in mind.

Organisations are connected ecosystems that have to interact with their customers in a consistent way by overcoming internal challenges and collaborating as a whole.

The customer demands it. Your employee, partner and everyone else in your ecosystem is a customer as well. And, trust me, the customer is more demanding than ever. Are you ready to listen?

All findings from McKinsey’s report can be read here.

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