With AWS Summit in Sydney just around the corner, I’m suggesting we should be aiming beyond the clouds and towards frictionless value creation.
Whether you’re an enterprise customer consuming cloud services, an established AWS partner like Contexti, specialising in Big Data Analytics, or a startup thinking about leveraging Cloud, IoT, Artificial Intelligence or whatever tech comes next, we (ought to) understand that it’s not about the technology but the business enablement these technologies provide.
But I’m wondering what is possible if we change our aim ever so slightly? Can we improve our collective mindset and create better outcomes for our customers?
I’m suggesting we change the narrative from talking about ‘journey to the cloud’ (or any other tech) to ‘journey towards frictionless value creation’.
Consider for a moment all our experiences that are super convenient. Just thinking about my own past week, using Uber for getting a ride, using electronic tickets on my mobile to scan through my kids at the movies, using face recognition at the airport to speed up getting through customs, using contactless cards to make payments (Paywave / Tap and Go), using iTunes for buying and downloading music and now exploring Alexa, enabling me to get things done (order services, get answers from the internet) with voice commands.
In each of these examples the product and service vendors created frictionless value, which is why I will keep coming back to these services and will happily pay for the convenience. While these examples used here are consumer products and services to make the point easily relatable, I believe our experience in the enterprise (business to business) should be no different. Whether we like it or not, consumer experiences have set the bar for our expectations and has become what we need to achieve in the enterprise, that is, frictionless value creation.
So how do we get to ‘frictionless value creation’?
It’s a constant work-in-pogress. There is always additional friction we can be taking away from our customer’s experiences, and when we think we’re done, we’ll have another set of technology platform shifts, new service integrations or new set of expectations to meet.
Here are some considerations for getting started towards frictionless value creation:
#1 Reset Goals, Narrative & Mindset
As per my arguments above, if we change our message from ‘journey to the cloud’ to ‘journey towards frictionless value creation’ we are in effect setting a better goal, we’re changing our narrative and our mindset. This level of awareness alone will yield better conversations both internally and with our customers.
#2 Seek Problems
This won’t be the first or last article that will talk about ‘get to know your customers’. However to create frictionless experiences, near-enough won’t be good-enough. So we need to get deep with customers, understanding their intent, desires, environments, experiences and challenges to bubble up problems, blocks and frictions.
#3 Go Niche
To be successful, we need to start with a narrow focus, a tight niche and we must sweat the the small stuff. That’s what sets apart great products and services from all others.
#4 Look for Ecosystems
In an ever connected world, every product and service is part of an ecosystem. We should be looking out for the one or many ecosystems we play in or ought to play in. Then we need to figure out how we can benefit from the ecosystem and how we can add value to the ecosystem.
#5 Understand Emotion
To truly understand if we’re succeeding towards frictionless value, we must also understand the costs and benefits of the changes we are imposing on our customers. With all our so called ‘efficiencies’ we must not overlook the human factors that are often personal and emotional. We must keep in mind, innovation is technology change that results in value. People won’t accept the change if we’ve neglected their emotions.