If businesses today are operating in the ‘Age of the Customer’, then IT is certainly playing its part. 

Our global sample of IT leaders have a lot on their minds. Ten top trends to be precise, including things like AI, voice technology, mobile, blockchain, system integration, trust and security.

And right at the top of their priority list was customer experience (CX).

But another major – and, as we’ll learn, related – trend that featured highly was employee experience (EX).

Read the report for the full breakdown, but keep reading for the key takeaways regarding two big X’s: EX and CX.


Has there ever been a better time to be a customer?

More than ever before, companies are creating experiences for customers that are connected and tailored to their individual wants and needs. This is increasingly true for B2B buyers as well, as companies finally get wise to the fact that B2B customers don’t leave their consumer expectations at the door when they get to work.

And our survey revealed that IT leaders are paying attention. Faced with more savvy, empowered and discerning customers:


  • 87% rate customer experience as a high priority 

  • 95% have a strategy that is either completely or somewhat defined


They seem confident in their ability to deliver results, too:


  • 46% say their CX skills are advanced, while the remaining 54% say they’re intermediate


This all adds up to 93% of IT leaders saying improved customer-facing technology is critical for their company to compete. And, refreshingly, budget is no problem: 77% are increasing their investment, and budget constraints rank down in fourth place on their list of challenges when it comes to CX.


Can dissatisfied employees satisfy customers?

However, this is where a curious divergence emerges between the level of priority and the investment directed to CX versus EX.

When it comes to EX, 84% of IT leaders still say improved employee technology is critical for their company to compete – but insufficient budget is their second biggest challenge when it comes to doing anything about it.

Furthermore, although just over half still attach a high priority to employee experience, only 22% say they have a completely defined strategy in this area.

This seems to be a real dilemma for IT leaders because, despite relatively low investment in EX versus CX, they widely recognise the importance of modernising work technology. Once security and identity technology is taken care of, IT leaders’ list of top EX initiatives reads: workflow automation, analytics, mobile tech and help desk/service desk.


Developers – most-wanted but least loved

One particular group of employees is a frequent fixture on IT leaders’ most-wanted lists: developers.

So it’s a surprise to see that:


  • Only 20% say developer experience is a high priority

  • Just 10% say their developer experience is completely defined

  • While 23% say their developer experience skills are advanced


Despite their in-demand status and pivotal role in building winning experiences for both customers and employees, developer experience was (almost) as far down the priority list as you can get (second only to blockchain).


It’s a story of compromise for IT leaders

IT leaders are balancing the interests of three core stakeholder groups right now. But by investing more time and money in one group – customers – do they risk neglecting employees and scarce developer talent as a result?

The answer will certainly differ from company to company. Because as the report’s wider findings show, this might be one of the most exciting moments in the history of enterprise IT organisations, but limited resources mean IT leaders have some difficult choices to make.

The Enterprise Technology Trends report has the full story on the CX, EX and DX initiatives and challenges on the minds of IT leaders, and the seven other trends that make up the top ten.