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Autotask CEO talks customer service and the changing role of the CIO

Autotask Community Live - Autotask's annual customer and partner summit - has come to a close at the Diplomatic Resort and Spa in Miami after 3 days of keynotes, guest talks and training bootcamps.

Aside from advertising company's $6 billion MSP ecosystem to the 900-strong audience, a lot of time was spent talking about the importance of customer service and the changing role of the CIO.

Speaking in the event's opening keynote, Autotask president and CEO Mark Cattini described his view of the company's role in the industry: "I really believe what our job is, is to provide you with a platform that allows you to deliver superior customer service, to improve the experience that you deliver to your customers, both profitably and efficiently.”

“It’s about improved customer experience and delivering your services profitably and efficiently. That’s how I’m going to drive the business forward. That’s where we’re heading.”

In fact, Autotask's whole future strategy is centred around people. In a joint interview with Cattini, CFO Elmer Lai and VP of product management Pat Burns, Lai spoke about how the company has "continued to invest in our customers," through a host of new offices: "We’ve opened two new offices since the last ACL in Boston and Amsterdam, we’ve doubled down in some of the other offices and doubled the size of our LA, Chicago, Dallas offices. We’re smart about investing," he said, "so it’s not just product, it’s also people.”

Burns followed this up by preaching about the importance of thinking about "what’s best for the user" and the added value of spending time with customers to make sure they are getting the most out of the products.

And the customer experience theme was cemented by the inclusion of a Forrester keynote entitled 'how customer experience drives business success.' In his talk, Harley Manning spoke about how we are in “the age of the customer" where advancing technologies have "moved the power in the direction of your customers.”

Then we come on to the second major theme of the event: The changing role of the CIO. In his keynote Cattini cited surveys from Forrester and Gartner, which suggest that “CIOs will grow out of being mere custodians of technology and will drive revenue instead” warn how “success of the CIO will depend on how they transition in response to new business expectations.”

"CIOs are expected to contribute to top line growth,” Cattini said, referencing another Forrester survey where 30 per cent of respondents voted that CIO as the most strategic executive in the company, putting the position ahead of the CEO.

All this isn't exactly breaking news - the role of the CIO has been growing in prominence for some time as a result of the increasing importance being placed on leveraging new technologies to provide some kind of business differentiation - but it was interesting to hear it being spoken about alongside product announcements at an event such as this.

What it does highlight is that, as the business world continues to change, Autotask is intent on changing with it.