CIOs are in the service business. They are responsible for a major portion of operations in an enterprise – infrastructure, systems, and processes. Staff and customers depend on these things in order to get their work done, to move product, to deliver services, to generate revenue.
Getting to the table
CIOs don’t get a “seat at the table” of strategic discussions if they can’t deliver on service basics. And more and more, “good enough” isn’t, well, good enough. CIOs constantly strive to deliver rock solid basics and stretch beyond to delivering additional value, anticipating needs before they arise, and innovating all the way from back room functions to client facing solutions.
IT vendors are in the same boat, yet many seem to miss this essential point. Service matters. A lot. Especially when your customer (the CIO) is in the service business. And especially when he or she is held accountable for your performance.
It’s a long sales cycle for many IT investments. Incumbent vendors have a unique opportunity to prove to the CIO that they can get the basics right, to earn a seat at the table with the CIO when future investment decisions are being made. Products and services must work as promised, with no hidden costs or unexpected constraints. The vendor’s organization needs to be reliable, responsive, and agile. Those are the minimum requirements. Vendors who get this right start to earn the trust of the CIO and start to get included in more strategic discussions.
CIOs are business people first, technologists second. Buzzwords, bells and whistles isn’t enough to cut it anymore. Value is the name of the game, and an increasingly important part of the value proposition is service.
Photo credit: johnlamb