David Elton, IT and change management specialist at PA Consulting Group, has been quoted extensively in the Financial Times Digital Business report. In the article, Financial Times correspondent Alan Cane looks at whether this will be the decade in which senior management finally comes to understand that squeezing the information technology budget may make the bottom line look better but does little for the health of the business.
David argues that customer service is becoming an increasingly important differentiator in many business areas. Customer service has always been important but in formerly regulated markets such as telecommunications, customers did not have much, or any, choice of suppliers. Now that these markets have been liberalised, the picture is different. David says that IT “increasingly defines the customer experience. In other words, how a customer perceives a company is defined by the kind of technology it uses to make and sustain the relationship.”
The article goes on to point out that the customer will expect the company to use the best technology available to provide them with the best service and will vote with their feet if expectations are disappointed.
David concludes: “In today’s technology-enabled markets, with trust at rock bottom, the customer is fickle. The customer expects the business to be using IT to make it work.”
This scenario does not sit well with the pressures on budgets that most CIOs continue to experience.