For most organizations, the journey to a digital-first business is not yet complete. While many have implemented new technologies to enable digital capabilities across the business, modernizing IT infrastructure and applications requires ongoing planning and investment. In fact, a recent IDC survey found that 49% of respondents identified their organization as only “somewhat digital,” with many in the process of transforming portions of the business to digital.1 With so much transformation still required, many CIOs and IT managers are prioritizing projects that will help drive new digital-first business models.

Unfortunately, while technology innovations promise to deliver significant results for business managers, the reality of implementation and adoption is often very different. CIOs and IT managers are increasingly tasked with not just deploying and integrating these complex solutions, but with delivering specific, measurable business outcomes to key stakeholders across the organization. IDC surveys show that most organizations continue to prioritize strategies focused on improved customer and employee experiences, better operational efficiencies, achieving sustainability goals, and expanding products into new markets. Delivering critical insights to business managers to enable real-time data analysis and decision-making is key to driving these strategies. While the specific business outcomes vary by industry and region, they are united by one common thread: they are all driven by technology.

Conversations with CIOs and IT managers reveal that a critical and difficult first step is making sure IT objectives and KPIs can be aligned with measurable, specific business outcomes across the organization. Aligning IT and business strategies has long been a goal, but managing a digital-first business to achieve desired outcomes across the organization has increased its importance. Such alignment is a difficult challenge for IT organizations that often lack the skills and resources for this exercise. Business managers also struggle to understand underlying IT infrastructure, further complicating the process of aligning strategic outcomes across IT and the digital-first business.

To help, services partners are offering comprehensive portfolios of outcomes-driven, life-cycle services designed to help customers align technology, operational, and business outcomes to accelerate value realization. These services are typically featured in packages that include planning and advisory, implementation and deployment, adoption and ongoing optimization, and support and training. IDC believes life-cycle services partners committed to demonstrating the value of technology for a digital business should incorporate the following capabilities:

  • Early emphasis on defining desired technical, operational, and business outcomes with required stakeholders across the organization.
  • Developed methodologies that can help align technology implementations and operational outcomes with business goals by establishing key performance indicators and objective metrics for tracking progress.
  • Highly skilled talent with the right mix of business, technology skills, and certifications on new and emerging technologies across IT and network solutions, with continuous engagement throughout the life cycle.
  • Ongoing monitoring and reporting through dashboards that clearly demonstrate how the IT organization is leveraging technology to meet the needs of business managers.
  • Extensive technology-driven capabilities that can help meet key risk management objectives, both as part of technology implementations and ongoing operations.

In addition, CIOs should ensure that services partners can demonstrate an integrated approach to identifying, measuring, and monitoring key technology, operational, and business KPIs throughout the life cycle. While most organizations focus on implementation and onboarding, the value of most technology solutions is delivered well after the initial project is complete. Life-cycle services partners should be able to identify and track key objectives that demonstrate ongoing adoption and optimization to ensure organizations are realizing the full value of technology solutions.

Not surprisingly, IDC research shows that organizations are seeing a number of benefits by using life-cycle services partners focused on achieving customer success. Respondents in a recent IDC survey2 highlighted the following:

  • 40% reported improving the overall performance of the solution.
  • 40% were able to deliver more value to business managers.
  • 38% indicated they adopted new implementations faster.
  • 36% reported expanding adoption to improve business results.

For CIOs looking to transform the IT organization from a cost center to an “innovation driver” across the business, these benefits are critical to realizing the promise of complex technology solutions. Life-cycle services partners with proven processes and methodologies connecting technology, operational, and business outcomes can help resource-strapped IT organizations demonstrate the full value of technology innovations and drive direct, tangible business results. IDC believes life-cycle services partners who can demonstrate these capabilities are well-positioned to help organizations seeking to drive faster adoption while delivering the desired outcomes across the business.


Read more about life-cycle services partners in the Cisco-sponsored IDC spotlight:

Achieving Successful Outcomes with Advanced Life-Cycle Services Capabilities


Message from the Sponsor

Cisco Customer Experience (CX) Services help organizations realize tangible business outcomes faster with Cisco software, products, and solutions – at every step of their technology lifecycle journey. From architecting and deploying new solutions, and streamlining operations, to optimizing the IT environment, Cisco and its partners can help IT teams achieve their desired outcomes faster.

Transform with less risk and effort with Cisco Services.

Accelerate business outcomes with Cisco Lifecycle Services.



1 IDC Future Enterprise Resiliency and Spending Survey, Wave 8, September 2023

2 Source: IDC Software Support and Customer Success Survey, December 2022


Elaina Stergiades

Research Director, IT Service Strategies