You likely know that companies that put the customer at the center of everything they do outperform by a factor of up to 2.5. It’s what Forrester calls customer obsession. Customer obsession also benefits today’s successful technology organization, which plays a key role helping external customers and internal stakeholders accomplish their goals.

The most successful tech organizations — what Forrester defines as future fit — demonstrate the core principles of customer obsession. However, nearly 60% of tech organizations are stuck at the “traditional” level: They have a focus that is rigid, service driven, and standardized with little input from customers or other stakeholders.

To help you reach future fitness and ultimately customer obsession, Forrester has identified the six key steps to understanding your customers and stakeholders. Once you understand these customers, you can deliver the strategy and operating model necessary to design, build, deliver, and serve effectively. The six steps (see figure below) are:

  • Understand the concept of customer obsession.
  • Define customer needs, wants, and expectations.
  • Identify how your stakeholders engage IT.
  • Map how you deliver value to each stakeholder.
  • Manage your IT stakeholders.
  • Continuously improve your workflows.

You can learn more about these steps in my new report, Tech Exec Guide: Essentials Of Understanding Customers And IT Stakeholders. And if you want a further perspective on building a future fit IT operating model, feel free to schedule an inquiry or guidance session!