Sandeep Sachdeva - Imagine if you will, a world where you wake up and nearly everything is to your liking.
You flew back on a red-eye from a business trip at Paris. Your home knows exactly what you need. It is able to cater to your senses to provide the ease and comfort you seek. So imagine a day when your home wakes you up at 8:00 am instead of 6:00 am as it knows you do not have any meetings early that morning. When you ask for the business news it gives you the top 10 headlines and reads out the most important one. When you shower the temperature of the water is just right. You get a compliment for keeping your weight under control. Your suit is already selected based on your meetings for the day. When you are ready, so is your coffee. While you sip coffee from your balcony, you get your emails read to you. At the same time your car is getting warmed up and selecting the most optimized route. This experience my friends is not too far away. Can we make this happen today? The answers is a resounding yes. The question is why is this important?
Mr. Steve Jobs in one his interviews said something that was very profound. He said “You have to start with the customer experience and work backwards to the technology”. A nice way of reminding someone that in the end your users rule.
We can not live without technology we dit not have before
What about you then? Do you Simplify, Enhance, Enrich and Inform ( S.E.E.I ) your users? Isn’t that what this is all about? The secret sauce that makes you stand out from what you bring to the table when compared with competition. The old mantra of Better, Faster, Cheaper will take you to a certain level. It will continue to work for you for some more time as your users are creatures of habit. On the other hand, the companies that will bring about a revolution are the ones that will seamlessly integrate and create new habits in people. Look around you and you will see examples of the same. Technology and things that we did not have before, are the same ones that we cannot live without.
Here is another quote from Mr. Henry Ford “If I had asked my users what they wanted, they would say faster horses.” Not that he was not listening to his users, it is just that he was so determined in bringing a new experience into their lives that he made it a point to stay away from boxed thinking. A point well illustrated in the blog post earlier of Contained Chaos and BigData. It is about creating an environment where you are able to achieve radical and innovative thinking. I come back to the need for building an environment that creates magic moments.
Users want to stay connected
At the center of it all are two concepts that are core to the evolution and the revolution. One is that each user, internal or external is looking to maximize the value and their life in general. They want to do more, see more, feel more, stay connected more, enjoy more and be relevant more. The second is a constant which is change. What we do today tweaks or modifies our future ever so slightly such that we see it as the new normal. The options that we present to our younger generation in terms of technology, their expectations and ability to dream is enormous. Connecting the two things above, a company then needs to bring a value proposition that helps S.E.E.I a user.
Build interfaces through your customer’s eyes
The single biggest return you will get will be when you simplify a person’s life. Do note that your users love to multitask. Smartphone is one such example. A user can text, call, video chat, publish a blog, play, surf the web, work and do more from one device. Yet it is so simple, intuitive, easy to understand and master. So are you building interfaces through your customer’s eyes? If not, why not? The BigData platform empowers and provides you with the capability to build out simple systems for your users by hiding away the complexity in the background. Just like a smartphone.
Enhance and Enrich peoples lives
Mr. Ford made it possible for anyone to travel when they wanted and be able to experience things that may have been out of reach for some. The car enhanced and enriched a person’s life. It continues to do that to this day for some of its users. It gives the user a sense of freedom, coming of age, pride, status, control of their destiny, belonging and more. You already know of other examples that do the same. It would behoove you to follow this principle while building systems for your users.
How fast could you go?
Inform is last piece of the puzzle. It is also the most important one. When Mr. Ford added the speedometer it changed how we viewed and processed information. It took us to a new level. We wanted to know how fast we could go. How fast we should go. We have speed limits, and the speedometer informs users of their speed at given point of time. This allows the user to stay in control and take informed decisions. It is like handing the control back to the users. Technologies like BigData, Internet of Things and Cloud provide you with the capability to hand the control back to your users by giving them relevant information in a timely manner.
The user is the key to your success and a BigData Program can help you S.E.E.I your users. Start with the vision, the users needs, the technology and finally the execution engine. When you have all these going in the same direction you will achieve sustainable competitive advantage.
Visit the BI & IM Symposium 2014
Toghether with OVUM and AutomaterisingsGids, Sogeti Netherlands organizes the 14th edition of the BI & IM Symposium. This two days event at 24 and 25 November, locaiton: 'het Spant!' in Bussum (The Netherlands) is the biggest business intelligence event of the Benelux. Do you like to visit this event, please click on the button "Aanmelden BI Symposium" below and sign up.