This summer’s announced development alliance between Apple and Cisco reminded me of a quote from Tim Cook, Apple CEO, that I once read, “Most business models have focused on self-interest instead of user experience.” Needless to say, Apple has built one of the most successful brands in history by focusing on consistently delivering an exceptional user experience, whether interacting with its product family or its various service offerings. Apple has raised the bar for what both consumers and business professionals have come to expect from technology.
In earlier blogs, I discussed the importance of connected processes and connected analytics in the transition toward companies becoming digital businesses. The final piece in digital transformation is connected experiences. Ultimately business outcomes from operational improvements are driven by new interactions and experiences. Both the process and analytics requirements need to be informed by the shoppers, service consumers, business professional, citizens and so on – all participants among who and what is being connected — and how they are connected. User requirements define how people can transparently access hyper-distributed centers of data, whether via smartphones, tablets, laptops, or specialized devices. But it is not just about simply having access to the data. Most importantly, it is about delivering timely insights so that users can make informed decisions. Put simply, it is about delivering personal and/or professionally relevant information that an individual needs, when and where they need it, and in the best way for them to understand or apply it.
Peter Sondergaard, Senior Vice-President and Global Head of Research at Gartner, summed it up this way at the firm’s recent ITxPO event, “In five years, 1 million new devices will come online every hour. These interconnections are creating billions of new relationships. These relationships are not driven solely by data, but algorithms. Data is inherently dumb. It doesn’t actually do anything unless you know how to use it, how to act with it.” I believe it is incumbent upon us to guide customers to discern the value of collected data, extract meaningful information from it, and analyze and use the data to offer new capabilities, richer interactions, and unprecedented opportunities for businesses, individuals, municipalities and more.