The phrase “do more with less” is no longer the best strategy to guide CIOs in delivering better IT services. IT departments, in both private and public sectors, are frequently strained for resources, typically due in part to budget constraints. Gartner predicts that in the private sector, 75% of CIO budgets will remain stagnate or increase in 2013. For the most part, this is promising news, but the public sector is not faring as well—IT budget cuts still loom as a real fear. Governments have a requirement to protect their communities, so CIOs in the public sector must embrace what is available to them and focus on the customer. Companies and CIOs need to do more with what is available and reframe the way IT is perceived in order to secure the resources, respect, and return on value it deserves.
Hard and Soft Skills
Dealing with the inner workings of a company and departmental budget negotiations are a challenge, but CIOs worldwide are not alone in this challenge. In fact, many will gather in San Francisco, Calif. for HMG Strategy, LLC’s CIO Executive Leadership Summit. Together, CIOs and IT executives will collaborate on ways to develop strategies to address the evolving role of the CIO. The shift in the way IT is viewed allows for massive potential in improving the way IT departments are managed.
At the end of the day, businesses exist to serve customers. Instead of putting IT at odds against the rest of an organization, imagine that all parts of a company are in the customer service business. If the entire company is dedicated to pleasing customers, then so are the individual parts. IT is in a unique position to combine hard and soft skills to keep customers happy.
IT Customer Service
IT is touching more customers than ever before. But because it is a part of the company infrastructure customers rarely see it, it continues to be undervalued. The role of the CIO is shifting in three major ways:
- Service with a smile…inside and outside the store. Emotional intelligence, matched with technical skills, will help IT transform from providing services to becoming business partners.
- The customer is always right…and IT is not inherently wrong. IT is not an enemy and just as any other department, CIOs are working to continually improve processes and services. An organization wouldn’t starve the budget for the workforce, but systems and technologies are often what empower people to do their jobs.
- Turn Customers into Fans … and treat the company as one would treat a customer. Companies always want to give their customers the best products and services; this same concept must be applied to ensure IT departments receive the resources they need
Customer experiences are almost predetermined by the degree to which IT is integrated within the business model. For CIOs in the public sector, they must transform their position within the company to demand the resources they desire, and take advantage of the resources available to them and utilize the power of the customer.
TIBCO is a sponsor of the HMG Strategy CIO Executive Leadership Summit. If you are attending on August 29, 2013, we would love to know what you think, so follow us on Twitter and let’s have a conversation!