SoftwareA recent study done by IBM has revealed the increasing importance of information technology. Top-level executives (C-suite) are looking towards their IT departments to create ambitious plans to better connect with their customers. Many of the C-suites plan to invest in mobility, business analytics, cloud computing, internal collaborating, and business process management. Investing in these areas will help enhance mobile resources, boost insights gained from social media, and establish a more consistent customer experience. This study gives some insight as to what are some formidable barriers, strategic influencers, and C-suite’s future plans for the IT department.

Formidable Barriers

It has also been noted that C-suites plan to break down formable barriers. The study showed that 63% of C-suites feel that there is a lack of a social media plan that is cohesive. They believe that this creates obstacles to integrating digital and non-digital customer strategies. At the same time, 54% of C-suites say organizational priorities create obstacles.

Strategic Influencers

This study also showed who influenced CEO’s to use technologies. At the top of the list were the C-suites, who influenced 78% of the CEO’s; the second was the customers, with 55%; last, where the board of directors who influenced 53% of CEO’s. This shows the impact the Internet and mobile technology is having on these companies and has pushed CEOs towards strategic changes.

Besides the influence of C-suites, customers, and board of directors CEO’s are being motivated by the fear of a crowded market of the future. 41% of CEO’s believe that new competitors will come from outside their industry, than those that are within the industry. This can be seen today with big technology companies who sell movies online and replaced brick-and-mortar movie rental stores.

Future Plans

The study shows that C-suites plan to improve customer experience by using it as a means of collecting data for market research, with 79% planning to use IT as a means to respond quickly to emerging trends. At the same time, this 79 % of C-suites plan to use IT as the way to identify unmet customer needs. C-suites also are depending on IT to create a consistent customer experience; with 70% C-suites stating that this is their priority.

At the same time, C-suites plan to use the IT department as a means of having a better relationship with its customers. C-suites plan to make changes that will affect the customer. First, C-suites plan to create a larger partner network. Second, 68% plan on using the IT department as a means to have more digital and social integration. Not only will they use IT as a means to integrate, but they also plan on using it as a means to treat customers as individuals, which accounts for 64% of these C-suites. 55% of these also plan to use IT as a means of expanded organizational openness.