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Socio-technical landscape revisited

Wrote most of this in 2009..some adjustments made.

Are we doing the right things in the right order? Maybe not… at least not often enough. The socio-technical landscape has changed so fast and we are still prisoners of quarterly capitalism (trying to create value for shareholders now staying for an average of 10 months), corporate governance models from the pre-networked age and isolated public sector services not systematically integrating themselves into private sector services and vice versa etc.
We seem to believe that we can see around the corner and we keep honing this imagined skill by making long term plans - in stead of going around the corner with our vision and hunch.. with fast small steps.

Technology is not the narrow sector – it is the attention of the potential end-user. And there are many massive new players who have grabbed more than anybody could expect of it - Facebook for example have 1,6bn customers - out of which 1 billion! use the service every day - on average for 20 minutes! 

We still have too many enterprises digging themselves deeper into vertical holes – forgetting too often that they are not alone with their customers in this world and that the end-users contexts are changing and new e-native users are stepping in with radically different expectations.

Fragmentation of time and technology is a fact. Technology allows "anything" – end-users do not have the time to get acquainted with the new and have to de-choose more than ever before. If sense of urgency in actually providing customer value has moved into a sense of emergency – to deliver something – anything – then there is a clear need to change direction.

We seem to continue to move into more vertical solutions and deeper vertical solutions, when it is clear that better value for customers are delivered by horizontal solutions – those that work in the same way with all partners in all directions. There is of course space for further procurement-driven value chain building – but it should happen increasingly with generic tools.


We talk about end-user centricity – but we do not intensively enough focus on the driving wheels when it comes to the only critically important element in innovations – the critical mass of potential users taking their step (if that does not happen – all money and time spent has been lost – at least for the moment. But it is not the money lost that hurts most – it is the "ice-age" that usually follows – no further investments, no fine-tuning, no learning from mistake as those involved move elsewhere (opportunity to make same mistakes again – instead of learning from them). Which are then the wheels that have the traction needed?

So - we need to understand that our customers have lost much of their attention spans and redesign the way we reach out to them - AI, customer profiling based on truly useful questions, understanding the fuller picture and doing all with clinical simplicity.

 

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Bo Harald

Bo Harald

Chairman/Founding member, board member

ZEF, Transmeri, Demos, Real Time Economy Program,

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Helsinki Region

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This post is from a series of posts in the group:

Innovation in Financial Services

A discussion of trends in innovation management within financial institutions, and the key processes, technology and cultural shifts driving innovation.


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