Driving Customer-Centric IT Strategies With Collaboration

Here are four tips to build an IT strategy that is customer-centric, efficient, and poised for sustainable success.

Olga Lagunova, Chief Product and Technology Officer, GoTo

March 29, 2024

4 Min Read
smiley face on wood block cube, customer satisfaction
Philip Höppli via Alamy Stock

The world has witnessed a dramatic shift in how businesses operate. The meteoric rise of remote and hybrid work took many companies by surprise, resulting in the adoption of quick-fix technology solutions that left organizations ill-prepared for the challenges of the future. 

IT leaders need to help guide businesses through this new era, putting the customer first while streamlining workflows and maximizing efficiency wherever possible. When considering which technologies we bring to our organization, it’s imperative that we adopt a customer-first approach, one that delivers a great customer experience and works in concert with IT teams to make their jobs easier and more efficient. 

With this in mind, here are four tips to build an IT strategy that is customer-centric, efficient, and poised for sustainable success. 

1. Ask questions, assess needs 

The first method is the simplest: a customer-centric program should understand the customer's needs. Rather than telling businesses what they must do, companies should instead seek to better understand the technology they use and how they can advance IT and business needs without creating additional burdens for teams.  

Here is a basic checklist of assessments when evaluating whether IT tools serve the needs of business stakeholders: 

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  • Security: Are the customer’s security protocols robust and up to date? Proper security hygiene allows for less friction and hesitancy when adopting new technologies.  

  • Productivity: How well are their IT tools creating a balance between productivity and time-spend?  

  • Value/ROI: Is their technology allowing them to meet KPIs while remaining cost-effective? 

  • Growth: How well is their current tech stack poised for growth? How can new services aid in achieving future goals?  

Once these baseline metrics are in place, it’s vital to spend time with IT leaders and agents to better understand their priorities, needs, and frustrations. Adding new or updated services to a tech stack can be disruptive, so it’s crucial to hear from workers themselves to know what is working, what can be improved, and what they require to be successful. If a certain service is seen as too cumbersome or inefficient, it’s better to know immediately and evaluate whether it should remain in organizational plans moving forward. 

2. Understand today’s digital workplace 

It’s also crucial to assess how IT teams work with down-the-line employees to manage their technology stacks. Many organizations have employees working in hybrid or fully remote models, which means IT teams must often equip employees with productivity tools and devices without being in the same location.  

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For companies with a heavy work-from-home culture, security services like device monitoring are necessary to remain compliant and secure. Offering these services in a cloud-based management system ensures that employees can install proper applications and remain compliant no matter their location. 

Similarly, visual engagement platforms such as camera sharing are highly effective at servicing issues and helping employees resolve their problems under IT’s supervision. Using visual engagement technologies to provide remote support is especially relevant in supporting disconnected devices within IT organizations (like home Wi-Fi routers, printers, or monitors) and in key industries like healthcare, education, manufacturing, and energy.  

3. Prioritize proactive IT operations with AI 

Currently, 58% of IT leaders struggle with agent satisfaction and attrition. One reason is time spent on tasks that are labor-intensive and repetitive. With tech stacks growing more complex and robust, many agents are mired in maintenance and service requests rather than legitimate improvement projects. 

One fix is offering solutions that prioritize automation, which enables the shift from reactive to proactive IT operations. As a result, employee productivity is not compromised, and IT staff can focus on more strategic tasks. Emerging AI-assisted tools can have a major impact in freeing up time and resources to focus on these high-value tasks. 

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AI-assisted IT automation and support reduce dependency on service desk teams to resolve basic or predictable IT issues. Self-healing alerts, for example, use data-driven insights and actions collected from various endpoints to predict and solve user issues before they occur. AI-powered copilots can also help agents simplify troubleshooting issues by providing real-time analysis and assistance, taking notes, and automating the creation of knowledge bases and shared scripts, so common problems can be addressed more efficiently and even proactively. With these tools, organizations can lower service desk ticket volume and minimize downtime. 

4. Set expectations now and for the future 

To remain customer-first, it’s crucial to understand what customers expect in terms of growth and goals. It's an IT leader’s job to understand use cases, answer questions, and determine product fits. If there isn’t alignment, it is likely better to part ways now before a failure of service or technology places everyone in a tough situation. 

When a new customer relationship does form, organizations must be prepared to not only match their current needs but also plan for several years in the future. Setting up protocols for feedback and ongoing results-monitoring is paramount, as is keeping a pulse on how customers are strategizing their technology stacks. This long-term mindset helps eliminate complacency, ensure continued success, and beyond all else, keep customers happy. 

About the Author(s)

Olga Lagunova

Chief Product and Technology Officer, GoTo

Olga Lagunova serves as GoTo’s Chief Technology Officer. In her role she is responsible for leading GoTo’s global engineering organization, building and operating GoTo products. Olga has extensive experience with global technology companies in industries that include IT management, location intelligence and global ecommerce. She joined GoTo from Pitney Bowes where she was the Chief Data and Analytics Officer and Vice President of Commerce Cloud Technologies.

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