Over the past 3 decades business related information technology has experienced three key era's of growth. While the first two era's are somewhat related, in that they both focussed on productivity gains, the third era is clearly a bit different.
Below are what we consider 5 key differentiators between the era of "customer engagement", vs. the eras of "personal productivity" and "organizational productivity:
- Focus on B2C vs. B2B: Social and mobile have an impact on both B2B and B2C, however the greater impact is on how organizations engage with external constituents, customers or citizens, vs. internal constituents, partners or employees.
- Lean product development: Build. Measure. Learn. When you are building a product for the consumer, its best to build lean and iterate vs. to build bulky and pray.
- Centrality of UX: If you cannot impress a consumer in the first 30-60 seconds of interaction with a new mobile app, then you might have lost them forever. In this new world UX is king.
- Decentralized creativity: Ideas for new and interesting products and services, and improvement suggestions, can come from internal or external constituents, not just top level management.
- Driving top line growth: Cost minimization is the primary focus of enhancing personal and organizational productivity. While effective customer engagement can no doubt reduce cost, it's biggest pull lies in driving new revenue.
Each of the above differences warrants a deeper look, and we will do so in future blog posts, but the bottom line is this - we are leaving the era of back office IT, and entering the era of front office IT.