May 7 by Miguel Tam
Yes, that’s right – an IT strategy can be tailored to focus on the customer.
And yes, an IT department doesn’t have to be seen as a cost center anymore. Using an effective IT strategy can help turn that around.
Nowadays, CIOs and IT teams have to redefine themselves as more customer-centric and focused on profit contributions by galvanizing mobile, social and cloud strategies into a single unified platform that can flex as their business models change. Of the many cloud platforms available today, only the Salesforce platform is capable of scaling to support the transition of IT from cost to profit center. The following five key takeaways from the white paper “Revenue Growth, IT Agility and Salesforce1” illustrate how the Salesforce1 platform is contributing to IT transitioning from cost to profit center:
IT AGILITY ON THE SALESFORCE1 PLATFORM
1. Contributing to greater revenue growth with faster mobile app development and launch using the Salesforce1 platform. Enabling sales teams to sell using any device, anytime immediately leads to greater top-line revenue growth. CIOs are saying this is where prospective and current customer behavior is changing the fastest, leading to the most profitable revenue growth as well – so it is critical for the overall IT strategy to accommodate this growth.
2. Getting greater context, intelligence and insight about customers can accelerate sales cycles. The Salesforce1 platform enables IT departments to integrate legacy, home-grown and 3rd party systems via APIs, creating a system of record in the process. It’s not enough anymore to deliver transaction history, customer obligations, past payment terms or just order status. Customers have a new set of expectations. Direct and indirect sales teams gain greater credibility and trust with prospects when they have contextual intelligence and insight into what matters to them and why…
3. Creating a more unified view of customers by breaking down legacy system silos and making valuable presales, sales and service information available company-wide. The overall IT strategy needs to deliver a real-time view of customers’ quote-to-cash processes. The Salesforce1 platform’s SOAP, REST, Bulk, streaming and meta-driven APIs provide IT departments with a rich set of integration, which are invaluable in keeping IT aligned with changing business models, and delivering real-time customer information.
4. Customer-facing apps need to deliver real-time responsiveness and speed to keep buying cycles moving forward. Legacy, home-grown and siloed applications are often inflexible and can’t react quickly enough for today’s current and future business model needs. By making data independent, the Salesforce1 platform and APIs accelerate application development and performance.
5. Getting everyone company-wide focused on the same customer initiatives by making apps that are easy to learn and use. Salesforce’s well-known, intuitive user interface increases user adoption. Users get acclimated faster, allowing them to use the platform to plan, implement and track sales performance.
The CIO’s role is at an inflexion point. IT strategies of the past need to be replaced with a more customer-driven, profit-centered mindset. By anticipating the mobility needs of sales teams and customers, providing greater responsiveness and real-time visibility into customer data, and anticipating customer buying cycles, CIOs can lead the transition of their departments and companies, using the Salesforce1 platform and quote-to-cash solutions.