The Buzz at the Gartner Symposium ITxpo in Barcelona – In the end, it is all about what everyone should already know – The Customer.

Gartner’s ITxpo event is always a place for learning what are the newest and upcoming trends and technologies which are most likely to impact the enterprise landscape. There is probably no other single space and time which brings together so many experts, executives and professionals involved in business technology.

This year, is not different. The event’s main theme revolves around re thinking of IT and how CIO’s and Business Executives need to see IT from the customer perspective. But has it turns out, focusing on the customer is just a new old trend that Gartner analysts have called: “Re Imagining IT”.

According to Peter Sondergaard, Gartner’s VP, despite the fact that there is a second recession already knocking on Europe’s door, CIO’s need to focus on budgeting now for money making IT initiatives. He proceeded to tell the audience that the future was about seeking for further simplicity around the gathering of information, collaboration and mobility.

“Post Modern Business” was the new coined phrase presented by Daryl Plummer, another Gartner VP, where the main assumption is that IT organizations need to dramatically change the way they relate to customers, suppliers and partners. The new focus should be around creating new designs centered on the client.

He went on to say that putting the customer at the center of design was related to three things, customer delight, customer intimacy and customer involvement. This, he meant, that organizations need to go where the customer is and focus on building company loyalty to the customer.

But, in the end, isn’t this what everyone already should know? That the customer should be at the center of our thoughts, expressions and actions? We have been saying already for years that the market’s challenge is to correct the “myopia of the preposition”. We often hear: “focus on the client”, and it is not the preposition “on”, and yes it needs to be the preposition “of”. It is the “focus of the client” we need to be tuned into.

Customers want to know that suppliers and vendors can be turned into partner, and that they too, understand what the challenges to remain competitive are.  Customers want to be certain that organizations are able to align with their overall market strategic goals and propose innovative new ways of expanding their reach and competitive advantage.

And this should not be new to anyone. After all, it is the customer the very reason for corporate existence. Perhaps, what is the underlying message is that the means to understand the focus of the client has changed. Now there is something called social media. Now there is something called mobility, and both are definitely changing the “focus of the customer connection” rules.

In the end, I believe it is a lot more about “Impact IT”. How to help the organizations use IT to impact their value proposition to the market? Mobility and social media, are changing the rules as we know it, now organizations not only need to sell to the corporation, but also to the individual within the corporation, as he or she are now empowered and mobile. And that is a huge impact on all organizations and how they connect and interact with their customers.

Being customer centric is not new. What is a complete re imagination is the impact of social media and mobile combined with the fluid architectures of virtualization and cloud computing. This is creative destruction as Joseph Schumpeter knew it. And what an impact!

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