The word “Digital” has been used for a long time in a number of different ways. From equipment makers (DEC) to a social marketing term to (present day) everything digital.
“Digital” has probably become the most bastardized word lately. You can’t read a trade rag without digital transformation, digital economy, digital strategy, digital blah and digital blah…. Digitizing crap will give you more crap, albeit “in digital”.
The point that needs to be emphasized and seems to be missing in most writing and discussions is the end user. The entire objective is really simple, it is Simplicity. “Simplifying the life of your end user and enabling them to do things they do today simpler and faster while empowering them to do new things tomorrow is what digital is all about”. It is not just pretty screens, or social media or app modernization.
Whether it is B2B, B2C, B2E or any combo thereof, having simplicity as a goal and identifying those use cases will allow both small and large businesses to thrive in this new world. Cloud and Mobile tech are the enablers that level the playing field and can help that drive towards simplicity. That in turn is driving a fundamental shift in our lives. Technology is now transforming from being an enabler of business to market differentiator to actually being the business. Airbnb and Uber are great examples of the latter.
That sounds simple, right?
Well, not really. Making things simple can be really really hard. Below are some guard rails to achieve that Simplicity:
- Relentless pursuit of UX & Human Interface; Build user experiences that appeal to as many of the human senses as possible. A great example is apple product packaging. When the phone comes in, the box, the colors, the placement of the phone (slightly about its resting case),.. all provide a mixed bag of emotions (delight, curiosity, etc…). For the bean counter in you, the ROI on UX is there too. Great article on UI/UX ROI from Wharton School of Business
- Data driven approach for continuous improvement; analytics, analytics, analytics… Mine/Ingest all relevant data points (usage, performance, etc ….). Use it for insights to continuously improve and create new features
- Elon Musk’s AI fears aside, harness machine learning for pattern recognition to simplify workflows & processes
- Use context & location based data presentation & process execution. A great example is Google Now cards on your mobile phone. Get relevant data when they need it
- Omnichannel presence; make it available when they need it on the channel they are in
- Finally, embrace agile internal processes for rapid course correction to create a culture where it is ok to fail but fail fast and course correct when necessary
In conclusion, simplifying the life of your end user and enabling them to do things they do today simpler and faster while empowering them to do new things tomorrow is what digital is all about.
Prakash is the lead for mobility in the federal market space. He has over 18 years of experience in Technology, IT Entrepreneurship and IT Management across Startups and Fortune 500 companies. He also founded a startup over this period. His specialties include IT Management, Strategic Planning, Operations, Organization Development, Product Development, Systems Engineering and Architecture.
Prakash holds a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Karnatak University, a Master’s in Computer Science from University of Mississippi and an MBA from Virginia Polytechnic. He also holds several technical and management certifications.