Study: CIOs bullish on total experience

New research shows CIOs value holistic digital experiences for employees and customers

A new study showed that CIOs value a total digital experience for both employees and customers.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, organizations sought to deliver streamlined digital experiences while weathering a sharp increase in cyber attacks. Against a backdrop of evolving customer desires and employee needs, businesses invested in technologies to improve both employee experience (EX) and customer experience (CX).

According to a new study by ServiceNow and ESI ThoughtLab, which surveyed 900 senior executives across 13 countries, the businesses that have made the most substantial progress are treating EX and CX as part of a cohesive strategy: “total experience” (TX). CIOs in particular see innovation benefits from improving total experience. To continue making progress, CIOs must confront challenges like developing the talent they need to provide digital experience.

Shifting investment to total experience

CIOs and their peers are thinking beyond bifurcated experiences for customers and employees. To save costs on technology and to boost efficiency, 40% of firms are making high or very high investments in customer and employee experience. Even more are investing in total experience, recognizing that linking CX and EX can provide a multiplier effect on performance.


CIOs value digital CX

CIOs are among the most likely to see value in digitizing customer experience, particularly in areas like protecting data security and privacy. Given the sharp increase in cyber attacks over the past year, this finding is unsurprising. CIOs also place a premium on using automation to support self-service interfaces and optimize customer service.

CIOs bullish on digitizing EX

The COVID-19 pandemic exposed inefficiencies in how employees collaborate, work, and communicate. CIOs see the greatest value in providing employees with the digital support they need to be more productive and engaged.

Cloud storage, automation, and IoT drive total experience

CIOs play a leading role in developing the digital foundation for total experience. The data show how this influence is manifesting.

Over the next year or two, organizations will invest in cloud and data storage and IoT to digitize and connect experiences and assets. Cloud platforms will not only help organizations save money on storage and servers, but they will also provide modernized foundations for remote work and collaboration.

Moreover, organizations are investing in Internet of Things (IoT) devices and automation to improve experience. IoT offers benefits such as predicting technology problems before they surface, collecting customer data to personalize products and services, and helping businesses keep track of inventory. Automation boosts efficiency for customers and employees alike.

CIOs champion innovation

CIOs, who play a central role in digital transformation, are bullish on experience-led strategies. More than most of their peers, they see a direct link between total experience and innovation.

Challenges remain for CIOs

For CIOs looking to invest in total experience, challenges remain. CIOs find it difficult to recruit or develop the talent they need to digitize experience. Compared to their counterparts, CIOs are frustrated by the C-suite’s poor understanding of experience. They are also concerned about keeping up with customer and employee expectations and the lack of shared metrics for CX and EX. To continue making progress, CIOs will have to sell their peers on the importance of total experience.