What Do We Want Our Customers To Become?
As I stumble along on journey to understand business development strategy, I’ve been considering the fact that our customers (retained IT service managers) are also on a journey. We are moving from a world where services are hosted for a particular customer to a world where they are hosted for many in the cloud. Customers no longer specify their requirements in the same way because the services are now standard. Customers are no longer responsible for the roadmap or for the pace of change. Users are now often able to drive IT at their pace, rather than the pace of the IT organisation that represents them.
In a standards based world, we need a sense of what we want all of our customers to become. We need to help our customers on that journey. We need to make sure that the services we provide appeal to these new customers, perhaps customers who doesn’t exist right now. More importantly the services need to appeal to their users.
There’s a lot of change coming for these traditional IT customers:
- major changes in the structure of work, driven by automation and ‘intelligent machines’ that will dramatically reduce the number of information and knowledge workers, leaving behind only the most demanding of knowledge workers
- self sufficient users with their own devices and easy access to myriad apps and cloud services, users who are in an ‘arms race’ with with other global high end knowledge workers trying to take their jobs
- changing demographics, with many older workers, who work reduced hours and blend their work and personal lives and of course young ‘digital natives’
- exponential change rendering irrelevant many of the traditional concerns of IT management, like the cost of infrastructure
- competitors who can put together a high performance team that can work from a basement and access enterprise scale computing and outsource everything but their absolute core business allowing them to scale without big company constraints
- moving from ITIL management disciplines that have dominated for so many years to focus on riding the wave of exponential change, finding opportunities to drive maximum business value while keeping some core security and controls in place
It’s going to be exciting.
I was thinking about this post as I walked around Scarborough bay watching the boats and the loading of the crabbing pots, fishing is an industry that’s known a lot of disruption, only a tiny traditional core remains.