Boards look to IT and the CIO to improve customer experience

The role of the CIO is becoming more important in making business decisions. And, IT budget is increasingly moving to innovative technologies, such as artificial intelligence.

Boards are now looking to the CIOs to address operational efficiencies and IT performance, while focusing on IT as to how they can become more customer centric — according to a survey of 1,200 UK CIOs.

IT customer experience

According to the Harvey Nash/KPMG CIO Survey, 60% of UK CIOs said that management were looking at IT to help enhance customer experience.

>Read more on The CIO’s role is changing – here’s why

It also found that when it comes to prioritising digital technology initiatives, improving customer experience is the most important goal for 62% of UK CIOs. This is followed by attracting new customers and growing revenue from existing customers, with both at 57%.

These figures represent the changing, or rather actual role of the CIO; whose position is not solely focused on maintaining infrastructure, but boosting business for their organisation.

“Customer centricity is becoming understood to be at the core of driving greater value for organisations,” said Lisa Heneghan, head of digital transformation at KPMG UK. “This year, we have clearly seen how organisations that put customers at the heart of everything are driving greater growth and profitability. This is requiring CIO’s to think in a different way and understand how the IT function can also pivot to enable a more integrated customer experience.”

IT spend

Charting their views on IT spend — which 45% expect to increase over the next 12 months — the CIOs ranked artificial intelligence as their number one technology investment*.

Virtual reality and blockchain technology enhancements were the lowest ranked with only 8% intending to invest. On-demand marketplace platforms were ranked second, followed by Internet of Things and robotic process automation.

>Read more on The CIO has “to be a little bit of everything” and focus on the business

“The Government’s desire for the UK to be world leaders in AI seems to be developing as we see it being the number one technology spend for UK IT leaders. Interestingly, despite all the hype that surrounds blockchain technology, it is the least favoured tech investment for the IT leadership cohort,” said Heneghan.

The CIO survey also highlighted the areas within their business where they have managed to automate jobs. Roles in IT (24%), customer support (19%) and finance (14%) were cited as the main three parts that have been automated.

“Technology is allowing businesses to automate many functions within IT and customer support. However, companies are still dependent on experts to oversee technical elements of business like risk and law. There is still some time yet before we will see wholescale changes to the workforce influenced by technology,” added Heneghan

*This month is Information Age’s Artificial Intelligence Month, where we will cover the topic extensively

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Nick Ismail

Nick Ismail is a former editor for Information Age (from 2018 to 2022) before moving on to become Global Head of Brand Journalism at HCLTech. He has a particular interest in smart technologies, AI and...