Tag Archives: CIO Matters

Is your CRM crowd-sourced?

How many times have you looked through your organisations Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system only to find stale information and incorrect data on people and organisations?

The traditional approach of trying to maintain your own internal storehouse of data and information about people and organisations is becoming increasingly outdated and more difficult to secure a satisfactory return on investment.

Trying to replicate information internally that is also stored elsewhere (and more accurately) outside of the organisation is for the most part, becoming somewhat nonsensical.

Social media delivers your crowd-sourced data integrity

The Linkedin trend occurring across business generally delivers extraordinary benefits to service provider organisations around “people and organisations” data currency and data integrity.

The challenge that most service organisations face is how to keep their database on people and organisations current and accurate, whilst Linkedin is an accessible database where the individuals themselves maintain their own record.

Data integrity is something that most internal CRM solutions fail miserably at. How many CRMs can you go to today to find that the current people listed in the organisation have already left or the company itself has since been acquired?

An obvious observation is that people are the most knowledgeable about themselves and their own data and if this is true, therefore they will be have become the best keepers of their own information and the maintainer of their own status across their social media presence.

Many people will update their Linkedin profile with news of their promotion, while the CRM in the service provider may continue to show them in a position they held years earlier and with a stale email address.

Linkedin provides the source for reliable updated information, and status as people move from employer to employer or job position to job position within the same organisation. Reliable and up to date information is a valuable commodity in trying to find the best contact into an organisation.

Social media expands your reach and functionality

  • Social media sites such as Linkedin provide additional benefits to users such as the ability to send a direct message to an individual which is often also delivered directly connected to a personal email account and not the work email address.
  • Linkedin also allows external parties to record some basic information against any person’s profile – information seen only to the person/s entering this information – and this is information is not seen by the profile owner.

These additional functions provide a strong clue that Linkedin has already established itself to be a source of current and accurate information on people and the movement of people across organisations.

Social media messaging is becoming an enabler for service organisations with the provision of an unofficial and more personal, unstructured channel for approaching contacts in an organisation. The social media connection is proving to be more responsive and more reliable than the traditional approach of retrieving an email address from the organisation’s CRM.

An email address is no longer the prize, but a social media connection can be gold

Studies have shown that email list turnover is the blight of marketeers and one early study into email usage showed that the turnover rate is over thirty percent. While this figure may come from an old study, the problem of email turnover is still relevant today. There are many people who have multiple stale email addresses but they have only one profile on Linkedin and this is where they maintain their current status.

How to leverage the crowd-sourced social media stream

  • In a service providers database the email address may be the most important piece of data for connecting but it is also the most difficult to maintain currency, as people not only changes jobs but also change personal email providers.
  • Service provider organisations need to accept that the social media stream will become increasingly important to them for capturing updated information about people and organisations.
  • Service providers should consider social media analytics as a data mining tool to uncover further insights and intelligence into the markets where they operate.
  • Further, organisations should consider how they can integrate with social media APIs so that the current profile they use on a person is sourced from social media tools and not from internally stored data which may well be stale.

The suggestion here is not to ditch the investment in CRM, certainly CRM is a good place for recording information that is internally specific and for matching information that is not found externally nor ever should be. And CRM should be much bigger than the contact management aspect that has been discussed here, CRM should be about marketing automation, fulfilment, workflow engine and the integration of data amongst many other things.

When it comes to contact management, however, it is time for service provider organisations to learn from the recruiting industry, many of whom have reassessed the value of strenuously trying to maintain candidate profiles in internal databases, when the most accurate and up-to-date information on a person’s status can be easily found and accessed from external sources in real time.

Blue IT – IT workers brushing up the CV

At least four recent studies support findings that IT professionals are among the unhappiest and least-satisfied segments of the corporate workforce.

  • Glassdoor reveals the top twenty occupations that bring the most satisfying work-life balance and on this list of twenty, IT is only represented by a couple of occupations.
  • A recent survey by consultancy and recruiting firm Healthcare IT Leaders, with IT professionals in the health care sector showed that only one in 10 IT workers were completely satisfied with their job, the rest are actively job hunting or passively open to new opportunities.
  • The annual Dice Tech Salary Survey found that satisfaction of IT workers with their pay declined 2 percent in 2014 to only 52 percent of the surveyed workers.
  • An employee engagement survey company, TINYpulse, analysed responses to engagement surveys from 2,200 employees working in various functions, including IT, at small, midsize, and large companies in the U.S. TINYpulse found the majority of survey respondents from IT to be largely dissatisfied with various aspects of their jobs.

In the TINYpulse survey, when respondents were asked to rate their happiness at work on a scale of one to 10, (where one represents miserable and 10 represents delighted), only 19 percent of IT professionals rated their happiness a nine or a 10.

The vast majority ranked somewhere between miserable to middling. Overall, respondents from IT were around 14 percent less happy with their work situation than employees from other functions.

Are your IT staff about to move?

Seventy percent of the survey respondents said that they would move for better money.

A smaller percentage (44 percent) said they’d change job for better working conditions and (33 percent) said they’d leave their current employer for more responsibilities.

The Dice survey found two-thirds of the 23,470 respondents said they were confident they could find another job if they wanted. And, 37 percent told Dice that’s what they were going to do this year.

Why so Blue?

IT professionals’ unhappiness at work may stem from a perceived lack of growth and development opportunities with their current employers.

According to TINYpulse’s data, only 36 percent of IT professionals surveyed say they have a clear career path, compared with 50 percent of respondents from other functions.

Moreover, IT professionals, by and large, don’t feel their organizations support their professional interests or career goals.

Just over a quarter (26 percent) rated their organization’s support highly (a nine or a 10) compared with 40 percent of survey respondents in other functions.

How to stem the flow

A lot of organisations are restructuring their IT by undertaking a redesign of the IT operating model.

While a lot of IT operating model redesign work is inspired by business drivers for efficiency, effectiveness and cost reduction – there is a huge benefit (often unplanned and unexpected) that comes with the staff who see greater opportunity for growth and new and increased responsibilities.

It is important that the redesign of the IT operating Model that comes with the new way of “doing IT” and delivers to the business a High Impact IT.

Build a High Impact IT and let the staff grow

The High-Impact IT Operating Model is a new blueprint for the function that brings IT closer to the business, drives greater levels of innovation and expertise, and moves IT from a function of “service delivery” to a driver of strategic enablement and business outcomes.

This can generate new levels of excitement for your IT staff and reduce the overall level of dissatisfaction through three critical principles:

1.High Impact IT is about the business. Business imperatives and insights about the business  needs have to guide how IT operates, not the other way around.

2. Nimble is key. When IT demonstrates agility, flexibility, and coordination, it unlocks high business performance throughout the organisation.

3. Beyond the organization. The organisation’s customers, and the external market of the suppliers and service providers, must be integrated within how IT operates.

So while an organisation may only be considering the need to redesign the IT operating model in response to a major strategy play such as outsourcing some of its services or addressing growth through acquisition, it may be absolutely critical for IT to redesign and reinvent itself, simply to give the staff the chance to see new growth opportunities, new focus and new responsibilities, a new lease on life that will dissolve the current levels of IT staff dissatisfaction.

Cloud hype wanes while risk concern remains.

For a long time the hype around cloud computing has been more prevalent than the adoption with the enterprise take-up on any significant scale seeming to be stalling and up against some significant barriers.

More recently it seems that the hype around Cloud Computing is finally settling down and the discussion is being replaced by a more common sense dialogue on how cloud can be best leveraged as a legitimate component of the enterprise sourcing strategy.
Much of my work continues to be around assessing enterprise readiness for cloud, but typically cloud is being absorbed into the wider discussion around ‘outsourcing’, ‘right sourcing’, governance and internal vendor management capability.

Continue reading Cloud hype wanes while risk concern remains.

IT Sourcing: in or out?

The question of whether there is a trend towards more organisations insourcing their IT seems to be popping up a bit recently but I can confidently respond that the research data continues to show the opposite is true.

Outsourcing continues to grow at a much faster rate with the majority of Australian firms already outsourcing some or all of their IT.

Research shows at least 40 per cent of firms intend to outsource more and interest in offshoring is on the increase even in the public sector.

Continue reading IT Sourcing: in or out?

Prosumers deliver the real future shock for CIOs

When the futurist Alvin Toffler introduced the notion of the ‘Prosumer’ in the early 1980s he said it was the “progressive blurring of the line that separates producer from consumer”.

Toffler described a new age of prosumption as the arrival of a new form of economic and political democracy, with self-determined work, labour autonomy and autonomous self-production. Of course his concept of prosumption was centred on consumers taking a more active role in the production of “mass customized” products, hence the name prosumer as a mix of producer and consumer.

While Toffler was thinking about new approaches to industry production he may not have realised just how disruptive the prosumers that he began to describe would eventually become during the digital age.

Continue reading Prosumers deliver the real future shock for CIOs

Planning for Cloud Computing means preparing for outages

A video blog by Scott Stewart, Researcher and Industry Analyst, with the discussion being the recent Amazon outage and what it means for your cloud strategy.
Stay tuned for more video blogs coming!