Are you a vendor based technical architect or senior technical resource working on empowering your clients employees to better serve their customers, or allowing customers to better serve themselves even? If you are, that is awesome! You probably are in the business of Customer Experience and you don't even know it.
Are you helping deliver CRM, Service, Portal development, digital marketing. Is your work having an impact on making your company more approachable? If so welcome to the Customer Experience domain.
Your client or employer needs help to navigate through the landscape and find the best of breed technologies that are right for them. A CX Architect should be their trusted advisor in that process. It involves a set of skills that help talented vendor based architects (Salesforce, Microsoft, SAP for example) make the shift from pure vendor play to opening up the power of the entire industry as their toolbox.
So you are an amazing vendor or subject matter architect and know your given product or platform inside out. What now? How good are you at the overall journey for your client versus that small section on the enterprise architecture map. The CX Architect role is as much about people as it is technology. But you need the credentials to win the room over. The key goals for succeeding as a CX Architect are:
- Gaining trust from your customers technology decision makers
- Demonstrating you operate one or max two levels up from the vendor detail (not all the way up that is the EA world)
- You show you are willing to go against your vendor comfort zone to get what is best for your client
- You take joy in being wrong sometimes, learning, being shown the right way over your way
Remember you don't have to be right or like who is right in order to see the right thing vs the wrong thing for your customer.
T Shaped Individuals
As you progress in your architect journey you must show your customers you are what is known in industry as a T Shaped professional. You can go deep on a given subject, get your hands dirty and walk the talk. But you love to expand, learn, be wrong sometimes and take others on a journey of discovery. Why pay someone to be wrong you might ask? Because learning together and discovering together is what creates trust and bond. Help drive the right conversations, workshops and show your key goal is customer experience excellence.
The mindset is quite exciting and releasing when you realise the potential of technology not purely "your technology". It is easy to get caught up in your own vendor world. You have experience there, you have a network, you can preserve income in it. But what drives you going forward? What would be super cool? Is it a pure Salesforce play for example?
If these questions motivate you then you are a CX Architect in the making. The question is what next and will your employer support your mission. If your seniors are old enough they will remember the following:
- Oracle was everywhere and will be king forever
- Microsoft .NET was a king maker
- Moving to the cloud was everything
- IoT was the future
- Salesforce was an endless growth engine
OK we will stop there. I could go on....oops forgot to mention also that of course AI will take over the world.
The IT landscape is forever evolving and your customers sell to their customers. Evolution is not an option it is a requirement. To stay the course you must move with the momentum.
Motivate and Inspire Others
If you really love tech and want to grow you must grow with your customers and find others who want to grow with you. The CX Architecture space needs seniors like you to help drive the conversation and deliver excellence. There will always be amazing engineers nearby to deliver things you have no time to do but IT decision makers need someone they trust and they want to help build amazing things to drive their growth. Show them the way.