Thinking about focus


Take your own path through the system

I’ve been out and about lately and seen an increasing number of organizations that are heralding their evolution into modern businesses because they have updated their infrastructure for speed and they have implemented systems to keep them aligned with the business.

In our rush to “optimize” and “standardize” we may have forgotten about “personalize” and “consumerize”. It has almost been a decade since we were talking about “The Long Tail” on a daily basis and at the board level. We did shift our businesses so that we could target our offering more directly at our individual customers. And, today, we are focused on the most personal of platforms by deploying solutions directly to the devices that our customers carry in their pockets and pocketbooks.

But did we miss something? Are we still trying to make our systems be one-size-fits-all even though the products and services those systems deliver are highly customized to individual needs?

I’d like to explore with you the idea that we should be able to personalize the process we we engage in when we do business.

For example: every time I check in at the kiosk at United it asks me if I am carrying an infant (never) and if I want to purchase additional miles (never). When I check out my groceries at Whole Foods it asks me if I want cash back (never). When I call Cigna about my healthcare from my cell phone it asks me my date-of-birth, last four of my social security number, my member number even though I only ever call from my cell phone which it knows is my cell phone.

What I am talking about here is the idea that processes need to be adaptive. They need to learn about the users and their habits and adjust and a adapt accordingly. Why should my experience, as a weekly United flyer, be the same as my mum’s, who flies once a year? Why can’t Cigna detect my phone and connect me straightaway without the phone tree maze? Why doesn’t Whole Foods give me back a few seconds every time I shop and not bother with the question about cash back?

What would a world look like where businesses adapt their processes to meet the way the customer wants to work? Maybe we need to shift our focus again.

 

 

About Kevin

In the past year Kevin has spoken at 20 conferences and seminars on a range of leading IT topics, including methodologies, business analysis, quality assurance techniques, governance, open source issues, tool interoperability, release management, DevOps, Agile, ITIL, from the mainframe to distributed platforms to the web, mobile, wearable and embedded systems. He is a much sought after speaker, recognized around the world for his provocative and entertaining style. Kevin is a 40 year industry veteran, holder of three technology patents and today is VP of Worldwide Marketing and Chief Evangelist at leading Application Development and Deployment vendor Serena Software. In the past decade he has been crossing the globe and has met with over 4,000 people. At Serena he works closely with industry analysts, the press, customers, partners and employees to exchange ideas about industry direction and business issues. He was born and educated in the UK and lives and works in the Bay Area, California.
This entry was posted in Business and Technology and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s