The most common perception of IT is that it is the guys in the back room that make all those invisible systems work and help you get your laptop working again when you get stuck. The traditional industry focus of IT has been on gaining better efficiencies and reducing costs. And to be honest, that is the way it works at many companies.\nBut it can be much more.\nAs markets, technologies and business needs evolve, IT has to have the ability to reinvent itself. Without the ability to adapt, IT will remain little more than a cost center rather than providing true, strategic value to the business.\nOne key area where I believe IT can shine is one that you might not traditionally consider to be IT's role: customer experience. In today's economy, technology defines almost every step of the customer experience journey. As such, CIOs are just as much on the hook for CX as the CEO, or marketing, or anyone else who has traditionally been labelled as "owning" customer experience.\nAs Kyle McNabb of Forrester Research put it, "Improving the customer experience requires technology change, and that's why it is your problem."\nFocus on the Customer Experience\nIf CIOs truly want to deliver business value, they have to shift their attention away from systems and onto the customer and the customer experience. It is easy to get caught up in the latest hardware, software and architectures, but at the end of the day the importance of adopting anything new must be measured in gains to the customer.\nCX is no longer defined by one or two individual touch points. It is instead an end-to-end journey, and every phase of that journey is equally important. And, every phase of that journey is equally potentially damaging to your organization and its reputation should something go awry.\nWhen developing new products or evaluating new systems, it's important to keep that customer journey in mind, and change the kinds of questions you ask yourself:\n\nIs this change making it easier for the customer to do business with us?\nAre we helping them get their service established faster?\nAre we improving customer care with easier reach and better tracking?\nAre we facilitating access to reports and data on the services we provide?\nAre we providing quick, accurate billing?\n\nJoin World-Class IT Organizations\nToday's digital IT teams should be focused on strategic business growth and expanding their influence to work directly with customers\/colleagues. World-class organizations spend nearly 30 percent more of their IT budget on build activities that contribute more to improving business processes, and nearly 13 percent less on day-to-day run activities.\nAre you prepared to adapt to join them?