The CIO’s Role in Stellar Customer Experience – Hunter Muller

The role of the CIO has shifted dramatically in the past few years, from the traditional focus on “keeping the lights on” to playing a more strategic part in aligning IT with the business, as well as embracing trends like the consumerization of IT.

Yet in his new book The Big Shift in IT Leadership, author Hunter Muller “contends that many CIOs remain focused inward, only concerned with technology,” according to Anita Bruzzese on The Fast Track blog.

The Big Shift in IT Leadership: How Great CIOs Leverage the Power of Technology for Strategic Business Growth in the Customer-Centric EconomyAs Bruzzese writes, “The best CIOs, (Muller) says, know that results beat out technology. Having great technology doesn’t mean much if customers aren’t having a good user experience.”

Muller believes CIOs should not only contribute their expertise to efforts aimed at providing a great customer experience (for both internal and external “customers”), but to take a leadership role in this area.

He views IT leaders as uniquely positioned for this task, because CIOs “have total visibility across the organization,” and with that access, “have a golden opportunity to help develop innovative strategies and spur collaborations that will have a big impact on the organization’s overall success.”

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Enterprise Service Integration: It’s Not Just About Data

In today’s complex technology landscape, organizations are challenged to consistently improve service delivery while reducing costs. The competitive marketplace requires enterprises to have the agility to address changing business needs quickly and effectively.

Enterprise service integration with Kinetic TaskShared-service models are the corporate norm in efforts to scale service delivery models. These shared service groups (e.g., HR, facilities, finance, operations, and IT) are using large-scale software systems designed to handle specialized requirements while meeting compliance and regulatory needs.

There is an evolving demand for integrated automation strategies to provide key business services across the enterprise. It’s not just about integrating data, it’s about delivering effective service.

A new white paper from Kinetic Data, Enterprise Service Integration with Kinetic Task, explains why service integration is a better approach than data integration, and outlines how the Kinetic Task automation engine enables service integration across the enterprise in a scalable, flexible, and manageable manner.

Long gone are the days of “single vendor” solutions for management and control across the enterprise. Organizations today utilize specialized applications for finance and accounting, HR, IT service management, supply chain management, and other functions. These applications not only come from different vendors, but often run on different operating systems, on different hardware, on-premises or in the cloud.

Point-to-point data integration is one approach to connecting applications, but is difficult to scale and nightmarish to maintain.

Allowing specialized applications to be used in a service-oriented architecture (SOA) is widely regarded as a better approach. By providing a centralized hub for service design and integration, companies benefit in several ways.  Integrations are now manageable, centralized, and standardized across the enterprise. Not only can data be integrated across systems, but approvals, notifications, and messaging can be centrally managed via a workflow automation engine.

Kinetic Task can connect to any application or database to extend the benefits of BPA to any processes across the enterprise. The engine is designed to be extended not only to COTS systems but to any system that can communicate via common methodologies such as APIs, Web Services, REST, or SOAP. This strategy applies to both triggering systems and systems involved in the fulfillment or completion of the process.

Download the white paper Enterprise Service Integration with Kinetic Task to learn more.

How to Calculate the Cost Savings from Automated Self-Service

It’s not unusual to find large organizations still using manual processes for service delivery. Users fill out a paper form, fax it to a service desk number, then follow up by phone or email to check on the status of their service requests. This approach requires many inefficient, manual tasks in the service fulfillment process.

What many organizations want—and are trying to move to—is automated self-service for requests, with a single intuitive interface through which users can find any type of service, make a request, and get the service delivered with no manual interaction.

In this model, key tasks such as scheduling, approvals, costing and reporting are automated–accelerating the delivery process, improving accuracy, and reducing costs.

Requests are made through a web-based, mobile-friendly portal that requires no training to use. The portal also provides visibility into the delivery process, eliminating phone calls and email messages to check on the status of the request.

Benefits of this approach include:

  • faster service delivery;
  • a better user experience; and
  • a more effective, lower-cost process for delivering services.

Calculating the return on investment (ROI) start with an evaluation of the time spent requesting and delivering services under an organization’s current approach. This is then compared, on a per-request basis, to the time requirements under an automated enterprise request management (ERM) approach, including total cost of ownership for the new system over three to five years.

ROI is the cumulative cost savings across all services that can be automated divided by the total costs (software, hardware, services, implementation, training) of moving to an ERM approach. The total business impact varies with the volume of service requests which are candidates for automation.

To learn more about the ERM approach to automated self-service, download the whitepaper Enterprise Request Management: An Overview.