Vince Kellen, a senior consultant with Cutter Consortium, a leading IT Advisory firm's 11 point plan to focus IT on customers resonated with me. I have been over the last couple of months writing about the need for IT to become customer-centric. In fact Forrester has been evangelizing the need for IT-marketing partnership. Here's his plan and they seem extremely perfect to me:
According to Kellen, once CIOs get their "trains running on time," they should build a multifaceted plan to reorient their IT shops around the real customer, the one that gives the firm money. The multifaceted plan can involve the following:
1.Establish a culture of customer service within IT.
2.Within IT, build intellectual capital of deeper customer issues, not just intellectual capital into technology architectures.
3.Bring this intellectual capital as a value-add service to the other parts of the firm, including marketing, sales, logistics, and service.
4.Start fostering innovation. Contribute to, if not lead, R&D in customer-centric IT.
5.Prioritize improvements in parts of the IT infrastructure that can address the technology or business process shortcomings, especially customer data quality and data integration.
6.Revamp IT processes that support the real customers and improve IT support service levels.
7.Help the firm identify gaps in the customer's experience and how IT can assist in closing those gaps.
8.Build an IT organization that is quick, flexible, adaptable, and reconfigurable so it can move fast on topical customer-facing initiatives.
9.Invest in the personnel and organizational development needed to make this happen.
10.Put into place strong usability and customer experience analysis methodologies that can uncover real issues with the customer experience and can develop real solutions.
11.Work with the other executives and ensure the IT plan is not only aligned with the business and customer strategies, but that the IT plan is actually challenging these plans and improving them.
I have seen the benefits multiply with clients whom we work with in the last few years. It's time to get started now.