IBM Study Reveals Strong Alignment Between Business & Technical Teams
It's no secret that the Internet has leveled the playing field for all organizations. No matter the size, location or industry, any organization today can easily “hang a shingle” on the Web and start competing for attention. In fact executive leaders clearly recognize this challenge, as evidenced in the recent IBM Global CEO Study which illustrates that CEOs have identified “reinventing customer relationships” with “getting closer to customers” as an imperative – and in today's world that means exceptional customer experiences in all touch points, spearheaded in many cases by the Web experience.
The recent introduction of the IBM Customer Experience Suite directly addresses that CEO demand for better customer insight and service through exceptional online experiences. Given that CEO imperative, where then, does the responsibility fall in an organization to define, craft, deliver and sustain this most valuable part of the overall customer experience? And, what is most important to IT and the business teams when it comes to online experiences? Recently, IBM commissioned a study to gain that insight so we could share the summary results with other organizations. To ensure a balanced perspective, the study included 432 respondents globally (216 from IT roles and 216 from non-IT roles) drawn from large enterprises.
Better Understanding Customers is Paramount
Perhaps the most telling data point (and a testament to the importance of the customer across the organization) revealed that the alignment between IT and the line-of-business (LOB) groups within many organizations is in lock step when it comes to the single goal of better understanding the customer. When asked to rate the importance of various benefits, both IT (87%) and the LOB (90%) placed the highest priority on this benefit: “Developing a deeper understanding of customer needs, behaviors and access methods”.
IBM Customer Experience Suite includes all the capabilities organizations cite as most important to delivering the right web experience the customer expects, thereby gaining valuable insight into the customer for ongoing refinement for even better customer experiences. The combination of personalized content, Web 2.0 social features, dynamic multichannel delivery and instrumented analytics integration, among other capabilities helps organizations not only support that benefit, but others. For example, of the other benefits proposed, slight differences were evidenced in the next highest rated, between IT and LOB, but each are well served by IBM Customer Experience Suite. For the LOB, the next most important benefit (at 87%) was: “Providing a consistent customer experience across all of our online properties”; while IT rated both (tied at 86%) of these benefits as the next most important: “Having a website that differentiates from competitors” and “Anticipating and capturing new business opportunities quickly and efficiently”.
Scalability / Reliability Are “Must Haves”
Interestingly, the alignment of IT and LOB extends beyond the business value of ensuring the highest level of customer web experience satisfaction. Both also agree that any software solution must be one that can scale to meet the changing business needs, be always “on” (as that is a primary Web tenet) and of course, be secure. Built upon the proven WebSphere Portal platform – a web delivery platform at the heart of numerous award-winning web experience across a range of industries – IBM Customer Experience Suite exhibits all the qualities to meet that most important requirement.
So, one could surmise, based on these and other data points from the study, that organizations are rallying around the customer, which – since it is a common CEO imperative – is to be expected (and is a good thing). The study did reveal that among organizations participating in the study, slightly over half (51%) reported it is a team-based decision process among IT and customer-facing groups (i.e., sales, marketing, product management and/or customer service) to agree upon an exceptional web experience solution approach. Ask your IBM representative about more details of the study and how IBM Customer Experience Suite can help your organization serve your current and ongoing customer web experience requirements.
-- Brian Chaput