I was involved in a recent CIO group discussion on the subject end user experience. The most striking thing about this discussion was that the end user experience by the majority of the IT leaders there was largely considered to be about the workforce within organisations.
I'm not criticising those present, far from it, they were an impressive array of IT leaders, but it is my role to challenge our community at times and I find it interesting that in that discussion the end user was considered to be within your organisation.
Customers are increasingly initiating their experience of an organisation via technology using the internet or Smartphone and younger generations will have their entire experience of an organisation via technology.
This poses an interesting dilemma for IT leaders. If the customer experience is not considered to be part of this debate it suggests that many IT leaders are still too focused on being service providers to their organisations and therefore not pushing the business strategy of the organisation to embrace technology and reach new markets. This is potentially damaging to the perception of the CIO role and prevents CIO's from gaining a seat on the senior management board. For the business community which is currently struggling to recover from the credit crisis, the concern is that they are not using technology to recover and grow. This will leave chinks in a business' armour that new entrants that are more agile with technology will seek to exploit.
I'm sure the reality of daily life for all IT leaders is that organisations are expecting more from all of us and yet fail to provide the resources to achieve the targets they set. It would be great for IT leaders to have the mind space and time to consider the end user experience from a customer's perspective, if only it were possible. It is a problem all of us at CIO are more than aware of.
Pressures aside, it is imperative for CIOs to make the customer's end user experience part of their focus over coming months and perhaps some other members of the C-level team will allocate some resources.