Part of the CIO’s role is to help the business become more agile and improve its responsiveness to customer and market shifts.
As such, it’s hardly surprising that improved business agility is a major driver for companies shifting their applications and infrastructure to the cloud. According to a Harvard Business Review study, business agility is the leading driver among executives for shifting to the cloud (32%), followed by lower costs (14%) and the ability to scale up and down based on demand (13%).
While transitioning a growing portion of the operational workload to the cloud can help companies to react to changing business conditions faster and more effectively, a shift to cloud services isn’t a cure-all for business agility. CIOs and business leaders also need to identify opportunities for improving business, customer, and operational processes.
There are various ways that the CIO and IT organization can help drive process improvement as part of cloud initiatives. For instance, an IT representative from a cloud-based sales automation project can meet with salespeople to discuss and observe how they do their jobs to help identify redundancies in sales processes along with other opportunities to streamline sales activities. This may include identifying efficiencies that can be gained in researching leads before reaching out to them or other workflow improvements that can be obtained.
There’s also tremendous value that can be gained by gathering and analyzing customer feedback that’s shared in online forums, social media posts, contact center interactions, and other methods of responses. Organizational processes that result in poor customer experiences can be identified, acted upon, and refined. The IT organization can ensure that customer feedback is gathered and then analyzed across multiple sources to help customer-facing leaders to identify and act on opportunities for revamping customer processes.
A shift to cloud services often enables enterprises to remove unnecessary or overly-complex processes that have resulted from mergers and acquisitions and application overhauls over the years. Helping business leaders to remove or refine complex processes is just another way that the CIO and the IT organization can deliver value to the business.
“One thing that becomes really important is to build agility into the organization in terms of how it think, how it works, how it processes, how it makes decisions, as well as the technology that we use,” said Tim Crawford, CIO Strategic Advisor at AVOA in an HMG Strategy video. “We can’t just assume that we’re always going to grow – there may be soft times that we have to account for as well. Having that agility to change direction as well as size up or down is really important today.”
- While transitioning a growing portion of the enterprise’s operational workload to the cloud can help companies to react to changing business conditions faster and more effectively, a shift to cloud services isn’t a cure-all for business agility.
- CIOs and members of the IT organization can help evaluate existing business, operational, and customer processes to help identify opportunities for process improvement.
- There’s also tremendous value that can be gained by gathering and analyzing customer recommendations on process improvement opportunities that are shared in online forums, social media posts, contact center interactions, and other types of customer feedback.