Over the last several months, our cloud analyst team has been asked to explore the question, “Does customer experience (CX) matter to the enterprise cloud?” Restated, the more accurate questions are, “Does CX matter when enterprise IT is providing cloud services to its business customers?” and “Does CX impact cloud purchasing decisions?”

Our immediate answer was “of course.” Customer experience matters to everything. B2B CX is no different, and Forrester has analysts covering it extensively with excellent reports, such as “Keys To Implementing A B2B Customer Experience Program” by TJ Keitt and Judy Weader. But when internal IT teams provide cloud services to their internal customers, both B2B CX and B2C CX matter. Why? Because the cloud providers themselves sell directly to business stakeholders (B2C) at the same time that they sell through IT teams and purchasing departments (B2B).

CX matters in software and infrastructure, too — no matter who the “customer” is. But what are the specific levers? How do companies, purchasing teams, and individual stakeholders think about cloud differently? And what makes cloud so sticky in organizations? Researcher Will McKeon-White and I decided to kick off a research stream to tackle this very question. The result is “The Cloud CX Value Map.” The CX of enterprise technology is complex, so we’ve done our best to simplify it.

This shows CX according to different stakeholders

We found that pricing strategy, functionality, features, stability, security, and market perception all play a role. And, most critically, there are different levels of decision making within any large enterprise. An individual may decide to play around with an Amazon Web Services service, for example, but company policy may land on Azure as the sole approved cloud provider. Not all decision makers’ powers are equal — but all should be understood.

We adapted the insightful work that Maxie Schmidt-Subramanian and Shar VanBoskirk did in their report “Value For Customers: The Four Dimensions That Matter,” applying their customer value framework to the different types and levels of cloud customers in enterprises. Individuals, teams, and entire companies — all can be and are cloud “customers.” And like any customer, a mix of economic, functional, experiential, and symbolic concerns factor into each experience with cloud, whether it’s delivered by a cloud provider or by an internal IT or purchasing team. To make sure your company understands what cloud CX is and how it varies across your internal customers, check out the details in our report.

Want To Learn More Or Participate In The Research? Contact Us

If you’re interested in gaining more insights on the cloud CX value map, Forrester clients can always submit an inquiry request to inquiry@forrester.com. I am also currently looking to interview end user organizations on how they think about cloud CX across various stakeholders in their organization. If you’re interested in talking about your organization, email me (dbartoletti@forrester.com) and Researcher Will McKeon-White (wwhite@forrester.com) about your interest.