Unisys Research Shows Customer Satisfaction as Top Business Priority Driving Corporate Investment in Real-Time IT Infrastructure
Results show culture shift in executive ranks, with new focus on directly aligning business and IT to meet increasingly intensive customer needs
BLUE BELL, Pa., April 12, 2006 – According to new research from Unisys Corporation (NYSE: UIS), business and IT executives in large enterprises realize that the future depends on customer satisfaction. Increasingly, they’re driven to make investments in an IT infrastructure that yields personalized service to customers in real time – a potentially crucial differentiator in a mass market served by more channels and competitors than ever before.
Eighty-nine percent of respondents to the Unisys survey cited customer satisfaction as their leading business priority in deploying real-time infrastructure – intelligent IT infrastructure driven directly by business rules and able to allocate computing power dynamically with minimal or no human intervention. The survey polled nearly 350 business and IT executives at leading companies in the U.S. and Europe about their views on the importance and potential benefits of real-time infrastructure.
Sixty-three percent of respondents cited customer satisfaction as “extremely important” in their IT infrastructure investment and deployment decisions (with the other 26 percent characterizing it as “important”), far outstripping revenue growth, cost reduction and efficiency/productivity (45 percent, 41 percent and 40 percent, respectively). The last three factors have conventionally been cited by other IT market research as the primary drivers of investment in technology and services, from IT infrastructure to outsourcing.
Culture Shift in Executive Ranks to Keep Driving Infrastructure Demand
“Unisys believes that customer satisfaction as the end goal of IT investments to build real-time infrastructure signals the beginning of a major culture change among senior business and IT executives,” says Sunil Misra, managing partner, Real-Time Infrastructure Solutions, Unisys. “They realize the value of IT as an enabler for critical business activities, driving customer satisfaction and business growth, not just as a means to facilitate operations or save money. Unisys predicts that senior executives’ appreciation will continue to evolve into demand for real-time infrastructure in which business rules dynamically dictate how, where and when IT responds to specific customer demands.”
Real-time infrastructure includes both enterprise computing facilities, such as mainframes, servers and intelligent storage devices, and software that directs those components’ activities in support of critical business processes. It embeds business policy information – from strategic objectives and key performance and risk indicators to service delivery rules and effectiveness measurements – into a rules-based software engine that acts as a “manager of managers,” directing how the IT infrastructure responds dynamically to critical business process requirements.
For example, a cell phone company must meet strict performance metrics for key business processes with customer service impact, such as assigning telephone numbers to newly purchased units. A real-time infrastructure could sense a sudden spike in simultaneous requests for provisioning – driven, for example, by customer responses to a promotional campaign for a new model – avert a slowdown in system response and enable the business to continue meeting the service level required for the critical provisioning requirement.
Predictions: Business Alignment and Security Will Be Key Factors in Investments
The research findings indicate an acceleration of the adoption rate for real-time infrastructure over the near term as executives become more attuned to the necessary alignment of IT and business priorities. Fifty-nine percent of survey respondents expected real-time infrastructure projects to be either in early deployment (26 percent) or in proof-of-concept (33 percent) in 2006. An additional 28 percent were in planning stages.
In addition, dynamic monitoring of key business activities and processes will be among the first areas of focus as companies begin deploying real-time infrastructure. Unisys found that 64 percent of responding executives considered business event monitoring a critical or significant motivator.
Overcoming Inhibitors to Real-Time Infrastructure
Although respondents cited a growing number of planned real-time infrastructure projects, 60 percent expressed reservations about the cost of full-scale implementation and 47 percent cited readiness of their current legacy IT systems as inhibitors to enterprise-wide adoption.
“Enterprises will see greater benefit at lower cost if they take an incremental approach to investing in and deploying real-time infrastructure,” says Misra. “If they implement new technology employing open standards, they’ll enable greater interoperability with existing legacy systems, reducing the upfront outlay and continuing to capitalize on investments that they have already made over time. Those enterprises will be the ones that win the customer-satisfaction and business growth sweepstakes.”
Unisys Real-Time Infrastructure Solutions: Visibility for Business Advantage
Unisys Real-Time Infrastructure Solutions enable clients to deploy an IT infrastructure that directly supports strategic business processes and delivers the benefits of secure business operations: breakthrough performance in customer service and satisfaction, greater agility in IT management with minimized risks and higher availability, enhanced operational efficiency and improved cost control. Visit the Unisys web site for more detail on Unisys Real-Time Infrastructure Solutions.
The Unisys approach with Real-Time Infrastructure Solutions permits integration of new, advanced components with clients’ existing IT infrastructures – not the “rip and replace” strategy touted by many competitors. This helps create a “manager of managers” environment, with a single rules-based Business Activity Monitoring engine coordinating the activities of the management components in each legacy or new-generation system within the infrastructure.
Unisys Real-Time Infrastructure Solutions can help clients realize the benefits of secure business operations because they are based on Unisys 3D Visible Enterprise (3D-VE) approach, which helps enterprise executives see and then act on the cause-effect relationships among business strategy, processes and IT requirements throughout the entire enterprise. That affords them unprecedented visibility into the impacts and costs that can block effective execution. Unisys 3D-VE approach enables organizations to see the effects of business decisions even before making them.
About the Research
Unisys commissioned strategic research and advisory firm Saugatuck Technology to implement a web-based survey that attracted 346 qualified responses, predominantly from companies of 10,000 or more employees. Half the respondents had IT responsibilities in their organizations, and half had business responsibilities. All participants had titles of director or higher. Three hundred respondents were from U.S.-based companies, with the remainder from Europe. In addition, Saugatuck Technology supplemented the web-based questionnaire with a sample of in-depth phone interviews to obtain more insight into the survey results.
Unisys is a worldwide technology services and solutions company. Our consultants apply Unisys expertise in consulting, systems integration, outsourcing, infrastructure, and server technology to help our clients achieve secure business operations. We build more secure organizations by creating visibility into clients’ business operations. Leveraging Unisys 3D Visible Enterprise, we make visible the impact of their decisions – ahead of investments, opportunities and risks. For more information, visit www.unisys.com.
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