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How IT Leaders Can Bring Businesses Closer to Their Customers


Author: Adrian Velez, HP Enterprise Group – Content Strategist


IT leaders and teams are often swimming in data, systems, new technologies, and processes. It’s often hard to see the bigger picture and reason why all of these moving parts exist in the first place — the customer.


Today’s customers have high demands that place significant pressure on businesses to deliver higher quality products and services faster. Thanks to social media, these demands are taking the shape of a collective voice, in which every participant is an influencer.


The organizations with a real-time feedback loop will have a clear competitive advantage in terms of their ability to deliver quality and reach customers faster. But this process is easier said than done and requires structure for successful execution. IT teams can become key business enablers and customer champions by taking the following steps.


1 - Connecting initiatives to precise customer challenges

When it comes to choosing infrastructure, today’s IT leaders have a range of options available. Thanks to cloud technology, storage itself can be a service that flexibly adapts to surges and drops in customer activity. That’s why today’s most innovative IT teams focus on examining patterns — at the very least, to put a response plan in place.


It can be easy, however, to feel lost in an avalanche of customer and fraud detection data. In addition to examining what’s happening, business leaders need to understand why. The answer to these questions will depend on direct feedback, qualitative research, and customer conversations. IT leaders can get to know their customers— as well as their precise challenges and pain points — by collaborating with sales, account management, and customer service teams. All IT investments should revolve around these customer conversations as key pillars and focal points.


2 - Finding stories in big data

According to a recent report from HP, 75 percent1 of surveyed IT leaders are self-described ‘extreme users’ of big data. In addition to collecting information about their audiences, organizations are transforming data points into cohesive stories.


To find focus in big data, IT leaders must identify metrics that align team goals with impactful activities. Every communicated point of information must revolve around a clear customer outcome. IT leaders will be responsible for the systems that connect individual data points to recognizable patterns.


3 - Eliminating points of friction

Both hardware and software can keep organizations from reaching their customers. IT leaders are in a unique position to identify potential hurdles related to data fragmentation, customer identity management, and speed to execution.

Realistically, organizations may need years to build a comprehensive and consolidated customer view. It is crucial, however, that IT leaders initiate the first step now.


If friction is a challenge today, it will only become worse in a decade — when there is even more data to manage.


Final thoughts

The best way to build relationships with customers is to spend as much time with them as possible. Team members, at all organizational levels, should feel comfortable participating in customer calls — even if they’re just listening. IT leaders can build the systems to support these processes.


To become a data-driven enterprise, you need to ensure your IT infrastructure is capable of supporting your Big Data strategy and initiatives. While big data workloads can provide an impediment to the traditional and legacy infrastructure that comprises most enterprise data centers it is by no means a showstopper. Read HP’s Best Practices: How the right infrastructure empowers Big Data and discover how to support your business’s analytics needs, IT infrastructure, policies, and data management tools to provide quick access to the data efficiently, effectively, and securely.


Bookmark HP Infrastructure Insights to get the latest updates on HP and the New Style of IT.


[1]HP Research, 2015 Report: Profiling Infrastructure Leaders, February 2015


Best Practices: How the right infrastructure empowers Big Data

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