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iManage 2021 Predictions: Old "Voice of Customer" Model is Dead, Tech Provider Success in 2021 Will be Determined by CIO's Relationship with Customers' C-team

vmblog 2021 prediction series 

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2021.  Read them in this 13th annual VMblog.com series exclusive.

Old "Voice of Customer" Model is Dead, Tech Provider Success in 2021 Will be Determined by CIO's Relationship with Customers' C-team

By Van Richardson,CIO, iManage

2020 has been the year where IT departments have shone bright, enabling their enterprises to switch almost overnight to a remote and dispersed work environment. With many of the challenges due to the pandemic still persisting in its aftermath in 2021, IT leaders will find that their roles will also become externally facing. In addition to their primary audience, i.e., the enterprises employees, they will need to actively engage with customers.

Against this backdrop, I believe the following three trends will emerge in 2021:

  • Beyond agile. Flexibility and speed of delivery are key, but tech provider CIOs will need to have more involvement with customer CIOs or C-team to ensure buy-in and partnering to maintain CIO perception of value, and ongoing support. The customer CIO needs to see the value of the product and the product CIO can provide insight into what's happening, and the value being delivered. Expect success in 2021 to increasingly be judged not just on the product doing what it says it will do, but on the relationships between the CIOs and other leaders.
  • The old VOC model is dead. The old "voice of the customer" model? It's dead. Those quarterly meetings where the vendor meets with the customer to run through a PPT presentation aren't going to cut it anymore. Instead, the conversation needs to be flipped to the value that was brought - and this value should not be presented at a quarterly board review: it should be a shared value that organisations will be able to say "Yes, we did these things together."
  • Tech explosion. As the phenomenon of increased remote working has taken hold during the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of new tools, software, and capabilities has skyrocketed to meet the demand of users. People working from home might see an application or tool that their spouse or college-aged child is using and think to themselves: "I could definitely use that for my own day to day work." IT teams will need to strike a careful balance of looking at ways for team members to be more efficient via tools that may not be available within the traditional corporate environment while still maintaining a level of appropriate enterprise security.

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About the Author

Van Richardson 

Van Richardson is Chief Information Officer for iManage globally, leading IT teams across multiple disciplines and geographies.  With expertise including infrastructure management, enterprise applications, and cloud technologies, Van focuses on providing IT value to the business by forging key relationships with stakeholders through-out the organisation.

Published Thursday, January 21, 2021 7:36 AM by David Marshall
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