Human First is the winning trend for 2018
Most enterprise applications and digital transformations fail to achieve their desired outcomes within their allocated time and budget. The same is true for countless consumer applications. Why? Because organizations failed to include the end users throughout the problem definition, concept creation, solution testing, delivery phase or all of the above.
Technology keeps accelerating and with it there becomes a growing gap between humans as far as awareness, adoption and knowledge go. The technology adopters and early majority are happily using mobile banking apps, mobile payments, mobile tickets and connecting to smart devices in their home. The laggards and sceptics on the other hand wish for things to slow down and for time to disconnect from technology. This group, representing a majority of the population today, is going to be left behind unless companies make technology more accessible and human friendly. Succeeding in the mobile world is not simply about implementing technologies first, success is understanding how humans perceive technology and change.
We believe that the true winners of the mobile age are the executives, organizations and companies that put the human first. By this we mean businesses that include their customers, employees and any interested party in every stage of their technology development strategy. Unless you plan on designing and developing services for robots, always put the human first in digital transformation, service development, automation or use of any of the technologies required on a daily basis.
Consider your Agile, Design Thinking, Lean UX or User Centric Design solutions. These are what we consider to be a Human First approach. However, it doesn’t matter what you call it, just as long as you do it.
What’s included in the Human-Centric Approach:
- Migrating a legacy system to the cloud
- Creating a new product or service
- Deploying a time reporting system
- Developing a tool for the sales force
- Redesigning a website or app
- Replacing the email platform
- Any project with human interaction
How to Measure Success?
To succeed with a human first approach, it’s critical to distinguish what success looks like. Specify the critical success factors for the end user and measure every step along the way. This allows enterprises to pull the plug /make changes before spending millions on development or deployment.
With more technology available than ever before it holds true that if you don’t see an improvement in productivity in 2018, you’re doing something wrong.
Humans & Tech: In the Field
Workers in factories, on construction sites, retail, in the healthcare profession, those on the road, or at sea; technology will have a dramatic impact on the way their work is completed. Mobile technology, AI, IoT and connected devices have the potential to improve quality, health and safety, free up resources for more meaningful tasks, reduce the environmental impact of your business and solve more problems. Human centric tools better enable employees and as a result increases satisfaction. We’re still seeing challenges with existing organizational structures, resistance to change and fear of job loss. But, we’ve gone through the same challenges before with railroads, industrialization and computerization. So far, each wave has created as many or more jobs than it removed. Early adapters can gain a competitive advantage by getting the digital transformation right.
Humans & Tech: At the Office
Digital transformation and adapting organizations for a digital world is the buzz of the decade. Nearly 25 years after email hit the workforce, technology is allowing enterprises to become more productive. Human-first tools not only help reduce data error rates and increase flexibility, but boosts employee morale. However, we’re still seeing a strong disconnect on how involved end users were during the implementation of the last intranet, ERP upgrade, expense management, CRM, device management or productivity app project. Think about this, no sensible organization would launch a product without iterative testing with end users, so why should internal services be any different?
Humans & Tech: At Home
Finally, the smart home is becoming smarter. For the first time, connected lights, alarms, locks, climate systems and entertainment are more than a gimmick. Alexa and Google-driven voice recognition devices play a big part in this and now Apple is joining in. Other companies such as Sonos, Honeywell, LG, Philips, and others are choosing to leverage the R&D resources and platforms of Amazon and Google by enabling these interfaces. The smart home still has a long way to go when it comes to security, ease of use, reliability of connectivity, and devices engaging intelligently with each other (to name a few). As voice becomes a key interface to controlling the smart home, it also provides other opportunities to interact with households including shopping, food delivery, travel, health, and more. Hardware gadgets and software that are compatible, help solve a problem and easy to use have immense opportunities as well. Smart doesn’t mean that is has to be technically advanced. Organizations need to think about how to make the most of this.
We’ve discovered the 6 critical trends for 2018 that CxOs must keep in mind for optimal success. But, there’s one trend set to dramatically change business as we know it and that’s Human-First.
Stay tuned for the remaining parts of this series to find out how these six trends are expected to shape success in 2018.
- AI changing the world and business
- Conversational interfaces trump chatbots
- Low code and no code
- Data security and privacy
- Apps replacing office tools
Magnus Jern, Chief Innovation Officer