As the saying goes, necessity is the mother of invention. Or, as in the case of remote work during a pandemic, perhaps necessity was the mother of adoption.
While many organizations were forced to implement remote working as a means of survival, the technology and policies that were needed have endured the pandemic. Innovative collaboration tools, cloud migration, and mobile apps continue to modernize as the demands of user expectations continue.
At the CDW Executive Summit: Delivering Better Outcomes Through IT, bestselling author Mitch Joel offers his thoughts on the new forms of technological disruption that may be on the horizon. “We, as IT leaders of business, have to bring this perspective. We can’t be that department of no; we have to be that department of possibility. Because this is really going to be an opportunity to push it forward,” said Joel .
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Remote work paves the way for greater digital transformation
Joel notes that much of the world has already transitioned from fully remote work to hybrid systems. Noting the data included in the Pew Research Center report, Joel said, “If you look at some of the data out there, it’s kind of scary. It’s really scary. We’re seeing things like, That 75 percent of officers only want to be back in the office three days a week,” Joel said. “If you go down the rank and file: 37 percent.”
“We’re also seeing 17 percent of employees saying, ‘I have to work remotely because I don’t even live where I used to work where I used to go. And this is a huge number. I mean, these, to me, are jaw-dropping,” he said.
He recommended taking a different approach, one that considers everything – not just work – to be overcome. “It creates a huge opportunity: How do we make everything really remote? The cloud offers a lot for it, and AI and ML provide a lot for it. It’s up to you to have some vision.”
related: Learn about the challenges IT leaders face in a work-from-anywhere world.
New forms of consumer behavior have forced innovation
Joel referred to the current state of IT as “the great compression”, adding that consumer behavior varies with each passing day. This constant change in behavior shifts customer expectations, requiring businesses to pivot to improving the experiences they offer.
Joel pointed to the retail sector to demonstrate how the customer experience drives change. “Physical shopping is a social activity. Even if you hate it, it’s still a social physical activity where you participate in other people’s protein forms. Online shopping is a whole lot more transactional. experience, and it has always been so.”
The distinction between physical and online shopping has exposed customer expectations in ways that have influenced each other. In-store shoppers now expect the convenience and urgency of online shopping. Online shoppers also seek to personalize the in-store experience.
“People do not buy things; They buy experience,” Joel said. “People really buy from people they know, like, and trust. So, it’s all about the experience.”
Services are the new customer experience
Joel said that most of the experiences we have are happening on our phones, tablets, and laptops, but “most companies are still building web-first, not mobile-first, worlds, even That pre-pandemic, that we are primarily driven by smart devices.”
“Services have become the new experience,” Joel said, warning companies selling products and not creating services that their days are numbered. As he sees it, there is a lot of opportunity in offering subscription services.
“Apple has basically pushed itself towards being a service-based business that also happens to offer the products that you have linked to those services,” he said.
“Soon, you’ll be able to get a subscription model for your iPhone,” he predicted. You won’t spend $1,300 or $2,000 on your iPhone; You’ll pay for a month and you’ll have access to everything you have access to.”
Joel said the ultimate goal of any organization should be to provide a better, simpler customer experience. “A better experience for the customer is fundamentally making our complexity invisible to everyone.”