Customer service, technology, collaboration, and agility set to explode in 2015

This recent infographic examined some of the megatrends on the minds of enterprise leaders. Many of these trends are indicative of larger shifts affecting business at every level, from the small organization to the largest enterprise. We wanted to take a closer look at some of these stats and their implications on businesses—including yours.

The stat: 79% of C-level executives believe they make better and faster tech decisions than IT

The challenge: Across departments, organizations are transforming into a digital business. We've already seen the strengthening of CIO and CMO partnerships, which is playing into the fact that 27% of tech budgets are now controlled by departments other than IT. Technology is no longer the sole domain of IT. In fact, a CEO's digital savvy is the best indicator of business performance. And while this shift to digital makes it more important than ever for decision makers to have a tech-savvy background, it also requires more tact on the part of all leaders to work together. By respecting the domain of IT and their understanding of how technology can benefit business, executives can avoid creating unnecessary tension.

The stat: 70% of CIOs would increase risk to reduce IT costs and accelerate business agility

The challenge: Businesses are realizing that not taking risks is riskier than taking them. For example, in the realm of IT, not considering a cloud solution is riskier for business. The cloud reduces costs and helps streamline business processes by allowing employees to While CIOs want to respond to the ongoing need for efficiency and growth, they are also facing the challenge of harnessing the power of new technologies to aid business mobility and efficiency. Building their digital prowess and leadership skills is key to ensuring they get out ahead of the competition and make the most of technology before competition forces them to play the catchup game.

The stat: 60% of CXOs now look to partners who will have an equal hand in creating business value

The challenge: Decision makers are looking for ways to break down silos and form cross-departmental partnerships within their organizations. By looking at colleagues as allies, employees enable the business to think in new ways, bringing about innovation that wouldn't otherwise be possible. But CXOs are also finding creative ways to partner with small businesses and startups for their unique sets of resources. External partnerships allow a business to outsource work that's outside their expertise and focus on bottom-line-impacting projects.

The stat: Three-quarters of decision makers' top priority is enhancing the customer experience

The challenge: Businesses are moving away from a make/sell business model and rapidly realizing the importance of a sense/respond business model as the expectation for personal, individualized service grows. Customers are the ones that can drive business forward—or into the ground. And the data proves it: outperforming enterprises are 54% more likely to collaborate extensively with their customers. That's why 7 out of 10 CXOs believe social and digital interactions are the new imperative. Satisfied customers are a top priority for CEOs, in particular. As a whole, businesses need to become more responsive to their customers, taking organizations from being customer-centric to customer-activated.

Do these stats reflect trends you've noticed in your own company? Or are your experiences different? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter.

Insights based on Microsoft analysis of third-party research.
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