IBM stresses need for strong customer service in IT industry
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IBM stresses need for strong customer service in IT industry

The IT industry is in a constant state of change. Today, the development of new technology moves so quickly that what were considered the most advanced and cutting-edge technologies and solutions only a couple of years ago have become outdated. For the IT industry to thrive, it is crucial that C-suite executives prioritize progressive leadership and embrace growing trends. Recently, IBM announced that it developed a program to teach enterprise leaders how to bring their businesses into the 21st century through the better implementation of emerging technologies.

The IBM Customer Experience Lab will bring the expertise of a team of 100 IBM researchers to company executives in hopes of helping them leverage mobile, social, cloud and analytics solutions in order to meet changing consumer needs. According to IBM, business is evolving to be more heavily customer-facing than ever before, and leaders at every level of the enterprise, including IT departments, must adjust to consumers' demand for more personalized attention. 

Of all the IT industry giants to be leading this charge, IBM may be one of the most qualified. In only the last few years, 9,000 of the company's analytics consultants have successfully conducted more than 30,000 client engagements.

"Business leaders realize they need to continuously transform their customer experience in order to be relevant and competitive – from the perception of innovation and value, to the quality of the interaction, to the economics of delivery," said Mahmoud Naghshineh, vice president, Services Research at IBM. "What made them successful over the last decade, or even last year, may not be competitive in the future. We will help clients explore the possibilities presented by new assets, technologies and innovation models based on our engagement experiences with thousands of organizations across every industry."

IBM explained that its lab will educate executives about making positive changes in three distinct areas. In order to reach one end goal of customer engagement, businesses must learn how to implement analytics solutions to gather intelligence about their audience. The IT solutions involved in this process are aided by increased employee engagement, achieved through collaborative technologies that foster independent thought and innovation.

According to InformationWeek, IBM may be on the right track with its idea that customer service should be at the heart of many of today's IT initiatives. In their 2013 Global CIO Survey, the new source suggested that digital business may be the next big thing for the field, with IT solutions being pushed ever further from its traditional roles behind the scenes. Now, consumers interact more directly with IT, so it's become necessary for leaders in the industry to shift their focus to optimizing customer experience.

InformationWeek's survey of 118 CIOs and IT vice presidents found that 35 percent of executives plan to place an emphasis on developing IT-led products, while another 31 percent claimed they would be looking into cultivating new business models and revenue streams. 

Additionally, a study conducted by Gartner noted that among more than 1,500 worldwide IT leaders, implementation of advanced customer relationship management software was named as the top spending priority for a majority of businesses in 2013 and 2014.