Forrester: "Age of the Customer" Defines Business for Next 20 Years
October 22, 2013
Share this

In the "Age of the Customer", only organizations that focus first and foremost on winning, serving, and retaining customers will survive, according to Forrester. This era will define the next 20 years of business, with the marketing department gaining increased power over the overall success of a company.

But what happens to IT? As marketing takes greater ownership and responsibility for tech investments, its confidence in the technology management organization drops: Nearly one-third of marketers believe the technology management group actually hinders the business, according to new studies by Forrester.

Moreover, out of all business units, marketing is the most aggressive in planning to spend money on technology, increasing its "private" technology spending two to three times faster than IT overall.

Forrester VP and Research Director David Cooperstein says: "Executives who lead customer-obsessed enterprises must pull budget dollars from areas that traditionally created dominance — brand advertising, distribution lockup, mergers for scale, and supplier relationships."

According to the new research, they need to invest in four priority areas:

- Real-time actionable data sharing

- Contextualized customer experiences across touchpoints

- Sales efforts tied to buyers' processes

- Content-led marketing and customer interactions

Of equal importance is the role technology management groups play in retaining and serving customers. It is Forrester's contention that technology management splinters off into two vital agendas for the CIO.

"We believe that tech management must embrace two agendas: IT and BT," says Forrester CEO George F. Colony. "The CIO and team must continue to manage and improve IT (infrastructure) — the supply chains, financial systems, HR systems, and production systems that operate the corporation. But in addition, the team must take on the business technology (BT) agenda — building technologies, systems, and processes to win, retain, and serve customers. The CIO and team are best qualified to manage the complexity of emerging BT systems. As an example, systems of operation that contain critical customer data must be transformed to become agile systems of engagement capable of serving mobile customers with the right content, in the appropriate context, with the highest possible convenience."

According to the new research, BT investments must include key capabilities for four key imperatives:

- Engaging customers undergoing a mobile mind shift

- Providing superior customer experience in all customer interactions

- Understanding customers through big data and analytics

- Adapting to — and ideally driving — digital disruption

Can the CIO and CMO work hand in glove in the age of the customer? If they can't, it may well mean the death of well-established brands and companies we are all familiar with.

Related Links:

Forrester Report: Competitive Strategy In The Age Of The Customer

Forrester Report: Technology Management In The Age Of The Customer

Share this

The Latest

March 28, 2023

This blog presents the case for a radical new approach to basic information technology (IT) education. This conclusion is based on a study of courses and other forms of IT education which purport to cover IT "fundamentals" ...

March 27, 2023

To achieve maximum availability, IT leaders must employ domain-agnostic solutions that identify and escalate issues across all telemetry points. These technologies, which we refer to as Artificial Intelligence for IT Operations, create convergence — in other words, they provide IT and DevOps teams with the full picture of event management and downtime ...

March 23, 2023

APMdigest and leading IT research firm Enterprise Management Associates (EMA) are partnering to bring you the EMA-APMdigest Podcast, a new podcast focused on the latest technologies impacting IT Operations. In Episode 2 - Part 1 Pete Goldin, Editor and Publisher of APMdigest, discusses Network Observability with Shamus McGillicuddy, Vice President of Research, Network Infrastructure and Operations, at EMA ...

March 22, 2023

CIOs have stepped into the role of digital leader and strategic advisor, according to the 2023 Global CIO Survey from Logicalis ...

March 21, 2023

Synthetic monitoring is crucial to deploy code with confidence as catching bugs with E2E tests on staging is becoming increasingly difficult. It isn't trivial to provide realistic staging systems, especially because today's apps are intertwined with many third-party APIs ...

March 20, 2023

Recent EMA field research found that ServiceOps is either an active effort or a formal initiative in 78% of the organizations represented by a global panel of 400+ IT leaders. It is relatively early but gaining momentum across industries and organizations of all sizes globally ...

March 16, 2023

Managing availability and performance within SAP environments has long been a challenge for IT teams. But as IT environments grow more complex and dynamic, and the speed of innovation in almost every industry continues to accelerate, this situation is becoming a whole lot worse ...

March 15, 2023

Harnessing the power of network-derived intelligence and insights is critical in detecting today's increasingly sophisticated security threats across hybrid and multi-cloud infrastructure, according to a new research study from IDC ...

March 14, 2023

Recent research suggests that many organizations are paying for more software than they need. If organizations are looking to reduce IT spend, leaders should take a closer look at the tools being offered to employees, as not all software is essential ...

March 13, 2023

Organizations are challenged by tool sprawl and data source overload, according to the Grafana Labs Observability Survey 2023, with 52% of respondents reporting that their companies use 6 or more observability tools, including 11% that use 16 or more.