C-Suite Calls for More Customer Collaboration
The message from executive leadership is clear: We must do a better job of connecting with our customers, according to a recent survey from IBM. The resulting report, entitled "The Customer-Activated Enterprise," sheds new insights from C-suite members about the future direction of their organizations, including the likely role that IT departments will play. The findings drill down into how individual leaders—including the CEOs, CFOs, CMOs and CIOs—would like to move forward with organizational strategies, such as greater collaboration, mobility and the cloud. (Future advances in the use of social media aren't quite as high on their priority list.) As for what's driving these agendas? Increased competition clearly weighs heavily, especially because 41 percent of future competition is expected to come from outside industries, with an equal percent expected to emerge from within the same industry. That will create a very crowded field attempting to engage and win customers. "A real shift is taking place in how businesses view customers," says Peter Korsten, partner and vice president over thought leadership and business innovation for IBM Global Business Services. "Being customer-centric isn't enough: Businesses need to be customer-activated. This goes beyond listening to customers to really engaging them in the business strategy. It impacts everything from mindset and culture to operations." More than 4,180 global C-suite executives took part in the research.