The most successful CIOs and IT teams have empathy for their end users and focus on making sure they’re happy. That’s not just some feel-good message; it’s SAP CIO Thomas Saueressig’s recommendation for running a strategic, successful IT organization today, amid the disruptions of digital transformation. It’s also the plan that is most likely to make IT professionals happy.
“We need to put employee productivity at the center of IT activities,” Thomas Saueressig said in a ZDNet interview. “The key goal for every IT employee is customer satisfaction [among internal employees]. We want to excite them and inspire them.”
Saueressig’s “most important KPI” is the satisfaction and happiness of SAP’s 78,000 global internal end users. “Happiness is a competitive advantage,” he added. If we have happy employees, they will make our customers happy. This is a direct correlation.”
Such a customer-centric IT model is still relatively uncommon. IT expert and ZDNet contributor Dion Hinchcliffe remarked that his interview with Saueressig was “quite literally the first time I’ve heard the word ‘happiness’ used by a major CIO, or tied it to competitive advantage.”
IT pros must “understand the business in its entirety and have empathy for end users”
Being a technologist is no longer enough; IT pros must “understand the business in its entirety and have empathy for end users.” To achieve this, Saueressig recommends IT professionals engage in user shadowing – actively observing first hand what business processes end users must accomplish and how they perform them – often requiring the use of multiple applications. From there, virtual user technology is especially powerful for putting new end user insights to active use to ensure consistently excellent end user experiences.
Unlike other tools used to monitor end user digital experience, virtual user-powered digital experience monitoring solutions (notably Login PI) very closely simulate real-world workers and the particular combinations of applications they regularly use. The customer-centric IT department, having learned about their real-world user workloads, can readily define virtual user workloads that closely match the actual step-by-step activities workers actually take to perform key business processes.
By measuring the time required for each step taken by a virtual user, IT operations can accurately predict infrastructure issues that will impair user experience and correct them before end users are affected.
We have expressed the resulting superior level of user experience and superior strategic level of IT service as a Digital Experience Monitoring Maturity Model (see chart above). This model visualizes the evolution of digital experience monitoring and management from basic application performance monitoring, to real user monitoring (RUM), synthetic transactions, and finally, to virtual users. We will be exploring this maturity model in much more detail, and welcome your thoughts!
Customer-focused IT professionals with a deep understanding of end users will find virtual user-powered digital experience management like Login PI to be a force multiplier to optimize end-user experiences, maximize productivity and eliminate business interruptions. They will also gain recognition as a vital strategic asset to the organization, instead of a commoditized IT services provider. Now that’s something everyone should feel happy about.