The customer-centric CIO

Customer experience should be at the top of the IT agenda.

Technology plays a pivotal role in customer experience in today’s digital world. Technology done wrong can turn customers away and destroy brand value. Technology done right can drive outstanding customer experiences that wow customers and set brands apart. As the leader of the technology agenda, the Chief Information Officer (CIO) is increasingly a key difference maker.

This paper shares practical insight on:

  • why customer experience (CX) is becoming the new battleground for growth
  • the forces moving CX to the top of the IT agenda
  • the four areas of CX where the CIO can make the biggest impact
  • how the CIO can use technology to drive the customer agenda forward.
The customer-centric CIO
Customer experience should be at the top of the IT agenda.
Customer experience is ranking higher among the CIO’s responsibilities in large part because of the consumerization of IT.
Barry Brunsman, Principal, CIO Advisory, KPMG (US)

Customer experience is the new battleground for growth

It’s no secret that today’s customers want more: More speed, more access, more information, more choices, more connectivity, more personalization, and more simplicity.

Changing customer expectations are turning CX into a key battleground for growth.  Research shows that organizations that deliver seamless, responsive, relevant and consistent customer experiences are able to grow higher revenues and become more resilient to market disruptors.

Once limited to managing back-office technologies, the CIO now has a much broader strategic mandate – with CX at the very top of the agenda.  For the organization to truly embrace and enable a customer-first approach, customer technology alignment in the IT business model is mandatory.  As such, the CIO is now expected to be a leader in aligning the technology strategy to drive the customer agenda forward.

As employees become more engaged, so do customers – and profits.


Customer-centricity depends on employee centricity. It’s impossible to make advances in customer experience without first focusing on employees.”
Jason Galloway, Managing Director, KPMG Customer Advisory

How the CIO can help drive the customer agenda forward

With technology playing a central role in CX, both directly and indirectly, the CIO is uniquely positioned to help the business transform the customer experience in the digital age.


Deliver actionable insights on customers

  • Data is the new oil.  In the age of personalization, today’s organizations need a robust data architecture and leading edge data and analytics capabilities to develop insights as customers engage with them.  As the organization’s data steward, the CIO should take the lead in harnessing the power of technology to capture useful data on customer behavior, turn it into customer insights, and act on it through custom-made relevant experiences that align with the organization’s customer strategy.

Guide smart CX technology investments

  • The CIO should help functional leaders, including marketing, sales, service and product teams, understand how both legacy and new technologies can be leveraged in their group to support a better customer experience.  Different groups across the enterprise are probably already experimenting with customer solutions, but they often lack expertise, direction and guidance.  The CIO can help them make smart decisions about what technologies they’re purchasing and how they’re implementing them.

Support and empower a customer-centric workforce

  • The CIO should develop a top flight understanding of the technology that employees need to interact effectively with customers.  For every customer-facing solution, the CIO should ask: “How can we improve it?,” “How can we automate it?,” “How can we integrate it?,” “How can we update it?.”  The answers to these questions will guide more proactive and responsive IT service delivery as well as future-oriented training and hiring decisions within the IT function.

Never lose sight of the technical foundation

  • Generating and acting on smart customer intelligence.  Integrating technologies in a way that allows the business to serve customers seamlessly across channels.   Supporting investments in customer solutions that help employees serve customers faster, more nimbly and more personally.  The technology infrastructure underpins every aspect of the CX effort.  At all times, the CIO must keep it safe, secure, resilient, and most of all, current.



Today’s customers are better informed, better connected and more demanding than ever before. Customer experience is overtaking price and product as the number-one brand differentiator.

KPMG combines expertise in strategy and implementation – as well as far-reaching industry and functional knowledge – to create better customer outcomes that produce better business returns. That means looking beyond the front office to a wholesale transformation of functions such as marketing, sales, and service – and linking them to the middle and back office.

The resulting organization is closer to customers and can deliver interactions that are seamless, responsive, relevant and consistent, helping companies build greater loyalty and share of wallet.

KPMG can help your organization evolve into a connected enterprise that meets the demands of today’s informed, connected consumers.
We know how your business works and we know how to get things done. Our global network of talented professionals combine technical expertise with practical business experience in consumer-facing industries, helping your organization address each capability across the connected enterprise – down to the detail – in the right context for your business.