To face the 21st-century challenge of managing a digital customer experience, which means consciously interacting with all business partners and customers in real time, organizations need to take the step to integrate IT infrastructure with new and existing cloud applications. Starting with the premise that “we are in the age of the [digital] customer,” there is no question (at least as heard in a Forrester Research webinar) that any forward-looking business must go forward with integrating their cloud data to back-end enterprise systems.
“The first thing is for IT to get in the game! A lot of IT practitioners are not contributing to their firm’s customer experience strategy. They are locked in the back office, providing point-to-point integration for project support.”
— Forrester Research, VP and Principal Analyst John Rymer
Why Isn’t IT Currently Contributing?
IT’s role has been to execute and support initiates, and haven’t leveraged their technical experience to create a cohesive integration model around use of new technology, specifically cloud applications, for an enhanced customer experience. Now is the time to get involved and, as John Rymer says, to take the “great opportunity to insert yourself in productive ways into these types of [strategic] projects.”
IT Needs to Showcase Their Expertise
While sanguine on the capability and necessity of cloud data integration with the backbone of back-end systems, John Rymer believes it has to be the responsibility of IT to get themselves a seat at the strategy table. He said that IT “has a huge role to play here in supporting the creation, and ongoing sustaining of these [cloud] applications, through providing great APIs and services. Also, IT can provide analytics, which is oftentimes left out of strategy.” He puts the onus on IT departments to demonstrate their expertise and add much needed value to current strategy. IT has a depth and breadth of technology knowledge that must be leveraged for a comprehensive integration plan which will allow an enterprise to get the most out of their cloud data.
This has only been a part of what John Rymer discussed; watch the whole webinar to learn more.