Does CX matter to the enterprise cloud? Absolutely!

Customer experience (CX) matters to everything, in software and infrastructure, too -- no matter who the "customer" is. New research from Forrester examines the CX of enterprise technology.

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Over the last several months, our cloud analyst team has been asked to explore the question, "Does customer experience (CX) matter to the enterprise cloud?" Restated, the more accurate questions are, "Does CX matter when enterprise IT is providing cloud services to its business customers?" and "Does CX impact cloud purchasing decisions?"

Our immediate answer was "of course." Customer experience matters to everything. B2B CX is no different, and Forrester has analysts covering it extensively. But when internal IT teams provide cloud services to their internal customers, both B2B CX and B2C CX matter. Why? Because the cloud providers themselves sell directly to business stakeholders (B2C) at the same time that they sell through IT teams and purchasing departments (B2B).

CX matters in software and infrastructure, too -- no matter who the "customer" is. But what are the specific levers? How do companies, purchasing teams, and individual stakeholders think about cloud differently? And what makes the cloud so sticky in organizations? At Forrester, we are kicking off a research stream to tackle this very question. The CX of enterprise technology is complex, so we've done our best to simplify it.

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We found that pricing strategy, functionality, features, stability, security, and market perception all play a role. And, most critically, there are different levels of decision making within any large enterprise. An individual may decide to play around with an Amazon Web Services service, for example, but company policy may land on Azure as the sole approved cloud provider. Not all decision-makers' powers are equal -- but all should be understood.

We adapted the insightful work that my Forrester colleagues did in their report and applied our customer value framework to the different types and levels of cloud customers in enterprises. Individuals, teams, and entire companies -- all can be and are cloud "customers." And like any customer, a mix of economic, functional, experiential, and symbolic concerns factor into each experience with cloud, whether it's delivered by a cloud provider or by an internal IT or purchasing team. 

This post was written by VP and Principal Analyst Dave Bartoletti and it originally appeared here.