Experiences Matter: The CIO’s Role in Customer and Employee Interactions

BrandPost By Cisco Meraki
Jul 21, 2021
CIOIT Leadership

Enterprises want to stand out; IT leaders are making it happen.

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Credit: sdecoret

CIOs are leading the effort to focus on delivering excellent experiences to customers and employees—a dramatic cross-industry shift that is permeating the cultures, processes, and philosophies of organizations.

About 80% of CEOs now are reimagining how they engage with and treat customers, according to Accenture. Top executives are seeking new and meaningful change in relationships and expect all members of the C-suite to drive the focus on experience, the consulting firm reported.

“Experiences matter,” says Juan Vela, global head of market strategy at Cisco Meraki. “CIOs and IT leaders are using their knowledge to create memorable, seamless, and exceptional experiences for employees, customers, and partners.”

Driving this vision: competition for customers and employees; technological capabilities; and CIOs’ successful handling of challenges such as the pandemic, supply chain hurdles, and economic ups and downs.

Morphing rivalries

Competition has changed. Enterprises now vie against traditional foes as well as startups that can nimbly enter almost any field. Large multinational organizations partner to enter new geographies, and international competitors may open branch offices to target customers in different regions.

Consumers don’t restrict evaluations to direct competitors; shoppers can and do compare dissimilar vendors’ websites, services, and support, and publicly share their opinions. The fact that you’re in a different industry may not matter.

Businesses can then look at everyone as a competitor and a source of new ideas for enhancing experiences.

“Enterprises differentiate themselves through the experiences they provide,” says Vela. “However, creating experiences does not necessarily mean time-consuming processes. This is not about individual technologies; it’s about developing or extending a network and security approach that continues IT leadership’s focus on scale, adaptability, and functionality—and adds great insights through analytics, machine learning, internet of things, and more.”

Comparison shopping

Giving employees the same simple and secure processes to join an enterprise’s network wherever and however they’re working encourages compliance.

There are multiple types of workplaces today. Employees work in traditional offices, remotely, or in hybrid workspaces. CIOs lead this charge by ensuring end users have a singular look and feel—and that these experiences are not only consistent but also consistently delightful.

That holds true whether individuals use laptops, smartphones, tablets, or other connected devices. After all, no matter what they use or where they use it, the encounter should be the same.

Reach and touchpoints

This drive to deliver excellent experiences extends to all who access the enterprise network. It also spans every touchpoint — from physical surroundings to the productivity and collaboration devices on an organization’s network.

Using an agile cloud-based platform approach gives CIOs the foundation necessary to rapidly scale and evolve their networks to meet new demands as they appear. This reduces downtime and connectivity hiccups, further enhancing experiences and promoting IT’s ability to deliver on initiatives like remote and hybrid workforces, smart spaces, and safe environments.

With a holistic view of the enterprise and analytics from data gathered across the network, CIOs gain invaluable insight into usage, needs, and trends. Equipped with this knowledge, you can make more informed decisions about budgets, staffing, and future investments, and give colleagues new perspectives into their choices. 

That is an excellent experience indeed.

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