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February 15, 2007

Top Priorities for CIOs in 2007 – Improve Customer Service, and Align IT with the Business Objectives… where do you start?

Boris By Boris Pevzner

CIO Insight published an article recently that included a survey of CIOs regarding The Future of IT in 2007.  It wasn’t a huge surprise that improving customer service came up as the top priority for IT organizations, or that aligning IT with business objectives was the top priority for IT management.

There’s a reason why these priorities rise to the top of the list year after year. IT organizations are focused on the day-to-day operations and are constantly in reactive mode to meet the increasing demands of their customers. It’s a challenge in itself just to maintain and keep the business critical applications up at all times.  Just imagine if your email system was down for a day!

ITIL (and particularly ITIL v3, for those of us lucky enough to have seen the working draft) tells us that in order to meet the goal of improving customer service and becoming more customer-centric, you need to define the services you provide to your business customers and make them available through a Service Catalog.  This may seem like a simple solution, but truly aligning yourself with business objectives and raising customer satisfaction requires much more than just publishing a menu of services to your customers.

So what do you need to make it a successful undertaking?  You need to prove your value and deliver value.  To do this, you need to think like a business, act like a business. 

Take my Customer-Centric Readiness Assessment by answering the following simple questions.  On a scale of 1 to 10 for each of the questions, how does your IT organization rate today? (1 = Not at All,   10 = Absolutely, Completely)

  • Do you know who your customers are?
  • Do you understand what your customers need?
  • Have you defined and published the services you offer your customers in terms that they understand (the proverbial “Business Speak,” not “IT Speak”)?
  • Are the services you offer aligned to what your customers need?
  • Do you offer service choices at different price points and clearly articulate what your customers get with each option?
  • Are you and your customers able to forecast demand for those services?
  • Do you provide the capability for your users to order the services they need online?
  • Do you provide a wizard to guide them to make the right choices?
  • Can you provide your customers a report to show consumption of services to assist them in forecasting cost and demand planning?
  • Do you survey your customers on how well you are performing?

If you scored 91-100, you’re IT organization is already executing like a business.  Other organizations could learn from you!

If you scored 81-90, you are obviously well under way to being a strategic partner to your business customers. Keep up the good work!

If you scored 60-80, you have embarked on the right path to achieving a customer centric IT organization. You could use further guidance from subject matter experts to take you to the next level.

If you scored below 60, you are so behind… Consider taking advantage of one of the Service Catalog QuickStart Programs available on the market.

Posted on February 15, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack