Embracing IT Transformation With Our Customers
In recent travels within the US, I had cause (and time!) to observe the flow of people through the airport while I was waiting to board a flight. Visually, what was extremely interesting was the overwhelming use of smartphones, tablet PCs, and general mobility tools that are now more and more commonplace at the consumer level. “Is there an app for that?” is becoming a standard phrase in our everyday language – and even in the microcosm of the airport, it was clear why.
In a recent presentation, EMC’s President and CEO Joe Tucci commented that within IT, this is one of the first times that every component in the IT stack is evolving at the same time – storage, network, switch, server, and application layer are all moving toward a virtualized model. While this is true, it’s not just restricted to the enterprise IT industry. In almost every household we have mobility tools in operation (smartphones, tablet PCs); social media tools such as Skype, Facebook, and instant messaging fast becoming the social norm; and a rapid shift to moving our own personal “critical” data to a service provider’s protection, rather than storing it ourselves. Why? Because it’s cheaper and more convenient.
In terms of customer support and service account management, it has never been more important to self-educate on the current technology trends– both in enterprise IT and in the consumer space. There are so many social media tools now available that our customers are never more than an IM, SMS, or tweet away. It is our role as service account professionals to make sure that we provide real-time information (now in an even more convenient manner) that allows our customers to run their businesses successfully – regardless of where they are geographically, and irrespective of the tool we use to communicate. There is a fascinating cultural change going on, and it’s one we need to embrace with continued energy.
In a recent discussion with a major customer, the topic of note was an online tool that provides a centralized view of their data center infrastructure. On discussing this tool, the customer’s immediate question was, “Is this available on the iPad?” Fast forward to an article in the Wall Street Journal titled “Microsoft Faces the Post-PC World,” which suggests that we are already in a world “where mobile phones and tablets are handling more of the computing chores once only done on personal computers.” This is clearly a change that will continue to accelerate.
How are you preparing yourself for your role in this new IT world? The change is both exciting and daunting for many people, but a “new norm” exists, and the way to be successful in it is to embrace it!