The Era Of Now And The Age Of The Customer — Why Resiliency Is More Critical Than Ever

We live in the era of NOW. If a website takes too long to load, or doesn't load at all, we will move on in a matter of milliseconds. If an ATM can't dispense cash — unacceptable. Our favorite online store is unavailable — unheard of. Not only have our expectations risen to astronomical heights, but our increasing dependence on technology means we can't cope without it. If our electronic medical records are unavailable — lives are at stake. If the utility's critical IT systems go down — millions are left without power.

We also live in the age of the customer. The most forward-looking companies are orienting themselves around delivering the best possible customer experience. For many, this means redesigning web interfaces, integrating more technology into storefronts, developing mobile applications, and streamlining processes. But what about improving uptime, availability, and resiliency? Isn't this the baseline that everything else depends upon to have any type of customer experience?

I've found that resiliency initiatives often fail to get momentum because they are so focused on disasters and downtime, and fail to link back to critical business processes and services. Too often, infrastructure and operations professionals focus on server uptime or network uptime, and fail to see the big picture, that what the business really cares about is services, not individual components. But let's take this a step further, we should be focusing our investments in resiliency on the customer experience. It doesn't matter if the data center is under 5 feet of water or if someone accidentally deleted a critical file, if the customer experience suffers, we need to have a plan.

I'll be diving into more depth on this topic, with customer case studies and specific examples of where you can embed resiliency into infrastructure and operations in order to make your customer experience as bulletproof as possible at our Forum For CIO, EA, Infrastructure & Ops, Security & Risk, And Sourcing Professionals this May. I hope you'll be able to join me there, but in the meantime, I'd love to hear thoughts and feedback here on this blog.


Compelling Challenge

This is a great post, looking forward to the ongoing blog. Very compelling challenge, right at the the intersection of two fundamental trends in the market. Both of these trends seem to be accelerating and feeding off of each other. Customers are more empowered and expecting the digital platforms (as outlined so well in Digital Disruptions) to deliver apps, content, etc. 'now'. Are Forrester clients experiencing this globally? Would be interested in perspectives and best practices for managing in this new environment.

Thanks for focusing on this subject!

Bob (@rvobrien)

Good point

Thanks Bob! I think you have a good point about these two trends not just intersecting, but actually feeding off eachother and accelerating. I do see this as a challenge that spans geographies, but it's certainly more acute at the most globally distributed companies since it's always 9-5 somewhere.

CustServe and Product Experience

At MindTouch, we're seeing this is especially true for our customers related to content updates as part of the customer support and product experience. Now more than ever NOW is expected. With the shift to agile development, tools for collaborating on product knowledge and updating real-time are critical. The end users expect it.