How do you balance the desire to provide customer-centric IT with finite IT resources?

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Sr. Director, IT Applications in Software, 5,001 - 10,000 employees
At Nutanix, our emphasis is on creating a delightful experience for our customers, who are our internal employees and users.  They’re located all around the globe.  Some of our main customers are engineering and sales. They constitute around 60-70% of the workforce. There are certain use cases that we have done for these employees to make their life easier. For example, a common thing that our engineers look for is VMs. So we have created an ability to quickly provision VMs to them by simply asking over Slack. Another use case is for Mac users especially. They often need Citrix VDI or the FRAME VDI option. So we have provided one easy way for them to go to our Slack bot and ask for those kinds of things. Our focus is always on how we can make our end users productive so that they in turn can do their basic job. We determine the customer experience by measuring it using NPS. Over the last three years, we implemented certain tools and technologies to improve the overall customer experience. And we have been watching it more closely on where we are going. There was a time where the growth was too much and so many users were coming and joining. It was very hectic. But just before that we implemented certain tools and technologies that helped us to overcome that additional work. We did increase some number of people but not at the same rate. The combination of these automations and some processes that we redefined really helped us in improving our customer experience. We did have some bumps in the customer experience, but we were able to quickly notice them and take corrective action.
Vice President, Business Technology in Software, 51 - 200 employees
We had a problem where one of our back office teams was spending hours and hours...they were projected that year to spend something crazy like 1600 hours moving funds around between customers’ accounts. The product team said, "Okay, there's something we could do for our customers. Let's give them the ability to do that." But this would have created a new problem where the back office team wouldn't be able to have visibility. So great, now you're empowering customers, which is a good thing, but you're taking away visibility internally, and they still have to do this entry in the ERP. So we looked at this and said, "Okay, here's a problem. We can empower our customers. How can we free up time internally and create a win-win?" This is a low value activity and the internal teams hated doing this. It was not a good experience for them. So we said, "Okay, you're spending this much time. Let's prioritize it. If it's structured the right way and we all work together, we can fully automate this." We were then able to cut down our back office time expenditure from 1600 hours to 0.  We were able to measure that impact using data we already had collected. This is an example of where it’s important to measure the parameters of a problem and define KPIs going into it, and then measure the impact after you take action to confirm. We use this approach across the board for prioritization based on expected results and impact.
CEO in Services (non-Government), 2 - 10 employees
The hardest thing to do in IT is to say “No”. Everything is critical and every project is priority 1. This leads to adopting short cuts in projects to save time and resources.

The key to balancing customer-centric IT and finite resource is to be ruthless in prioritizing. If teams have one thing to do then they can do it well. They can focus on customers and not just saving resources

The second thing is to differentiate between “run team” and “change team”. It is very hard to fly a plane and change the engine at the same time while taking care of passengers.

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CTO in Software, 201 - 500 employees
Without a doubt - Technical Debt! It's a ball and chain that creates an ever increasing drag on any organization, stifles innovation, and prevents transformation.
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