I’ve been blogging recently about contextual experiences and how they will begin to dominate how work is performed. There is an important building block for contextual experiences that leverages the API ecosystems available in modern applications — this is what we term Conditional Experiences. Experiences are driven by logic between systems; conditional experiences are driven by IF, THEN, OR and AND statements.
The difference, in my mind, between contextual experiences and conditional experiences is the use of analytics and algorithms. Logic-based conditional experiences do not employ rich algorithms and analytics. Contextual, in my view, uses some form of intelligence to predict what is needed and builds that experience. Conditional uses factual, logic-based analysis to deliver experiences. Both contextual and conditional are increasingly important, especially given the rise in the types of things capable of driving conditional experiences.
Conditional experiences are available today, and, in many cases, are being adopted by smart employees (many having used systems like If This Then That or Zapier for years). Now we are also seeing new entrants to the conditional experience marketplace driven by the rise of smart devices (home, vehicles and office-based). These interactions are increasingly rich and can drive intelligent input into cognitive systems that deliver contextual experiences.
Here are a couple of examples of experiences that show the value of conditional and contextual experiences and how one can feed the other:
Conditional and Contextual Experiences in the meeting room:
Conditional and Contextual Experiences for keeping abreast of industry news:
I’ve deliberately picked very basic examples for conditional and contextual experiences in these examples.
One important enhancement to conditional experiences came to light with the recent announcement for Microsoft Flow, which extends conditional services into enterprise systems. The important element of these approaches is that the user remain at the centre of building experiences; enterprises need to consider how they open their systems securely to enable conditional and contextual workflows.
The broad range of information feeding into conditional systems can include RSS, IoT device outputs, enterprise systems, location data from smartphones (or vehicles) and personal clouds. Bringing all this data together with enterprise and user-defined experiences will be key to the smart digital workplace.
Stu Downes is a solution lead within the CSC MyWorkStyle offering group. Stu’s role working with product management, industry analysts, key clients and partners gives him a unique view of market trends and client needs. Since joining CSC in 1999 Stu has had a number of roles delivering, designing and leading solutions and products. Stu is now shaping workplace products that enable the hyper productive digital workplace.