“Tech-savvy employees increasingly expect the digital solutions at work to be more like the easier-to-use software at home. And while they may complain about software usability, they do not always know exactly what they need. That means CIOs must develop a keener understanding of what users want â€” and require â€” based on how they work. Rewards go to those who get it right. Research shows that design-centric businesses that place more value on UX than their peers achieve productivity gains and higher equity valuations. “
People may not exactly be getting more technically proficient, but they have become more comfortable using their phones and tablets to download music, find the nearest movie theater or pay for purchases.
If Amazon or Google sets the standard for ease of use, that is what [people] expect everywhere â€“ in all categories.
â€œA lot of in-house interfaces are terrible to use. People have to go through multiple layers of interfaces in order to get to what they are looking for,â€
One telltale sign of a cumbersome UX is that impatient employees bring in unapproved software because they are frustrated with the old system,
o what constitutes a good UX? It has to be intuitively simple to use, personalized for the individual employee and most importantly, empower end users to be more effective and productive. The UX also must be consistent across desktop and mobile environments so employees do not have to relearn new commands for different devices
Stock prices of companies that invest in design outperformed the S&P 500 index by 219% between 2004 and 2014.
increased use of existing software licenses;
increased employee productivity;
fewer data errors thus lower costs;
lower training costs;
lower load on IT service desks;
faster resolution of IT issues;
fewer change requests;
time and cost savings with mobile and cloud access; and
savings from upgrading instead of replacing existing software.
more satisfied employees;
higher retention rates;
greater internal collaboration and cohesion;
The return on investment of a good UX ranges from $2 to $100 for every $1 invested.
UX improvement efforts could fail when developers view it as â€œsomething superficial and add a little feature here and a little feature there.
“As of September, one of the largest companies in the world will do all of its employees and managers an enormous favor: It will get rid of the annual performance review.
Accenture CEO Pierre Nanterme told The Washington Post that the professional services firm, which employs hundreds of thousands of workers in cities around the globe, has been quietly preparing for this â€œmassive revolutionâ€ in its internal operations.”
“Over the past few weeks Iâ€™ve been writing about various types of organizational structures that either already exist in todayâ€™s business landscape or are starting to emerge as viable options for the future of work.”
There are many challenges with this model but to name a few. Communication typically flows from the top to the bottom which means innovation stagnates, engagement suffers, and collaboration is virtually non-existent
Unlike the traditional hierarchy which typically sees one way communication and everyone at the top with all the information and power; a â€œflatterâ€ structure seeks to open up the lines of communication and collaboration while removing layers within the organization.
Unlike any other corporate structure that exists, flat companies are exactly thatâ€¦flat. Meaning there are usually no job titles, seniority, managers, or executives. Everyone is seen as equal. Flat organizations are also oftentimes called or referred to as self-managed organizations (there can be some differences but for our case we will put them together)
“KLMâ€™s social media manager Karlijn Vogel-Meijer said that they’re now generating â‚¬25m ($US27.3m) in sales, per year, that they can directly attribute to their social media efforts. Thatâ€™s no small feat â€“ so how do they do it? I got a chance to speak with Vogel-Meijer to find out just how KLM goes about their social media process.”
â€œOur strategy is very simple and based upon three pillars: service, brand & reputation and commerce,â€
Social Bakers rated KLM as the number one â€œSocially Devotedâ€ brand globally, with data showing that they responded to 98.5% of the 80,000 questions posed to them on Facebook, while doing so 3 hours faster than the airline industry average.
â€œIf people donâ€™t have anything to ask us, we still want to be present in their timelines,â€ Vogel-Meijer continued. â€œPeople only follow a limited number of brands, so our content needs to be relevant and worth sharing.â€
â€œWe want to be where our customers are, so in that sense, Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin are top of mind,â€
why should we redirect you to the KLM website if we can offer you the opportunity to book a flight via a tweet or a post?â€
We focus on response time and the number of cases, in relation to service; on reach and engagement, when itâ€™s about brand; and we measure commerce via last click, 28 days cookie time, via our internal measurement tool. But we also look at Facebook post view conversions.â€
â€œThe true value of social media is two-way, honest communication between a customer and a brand,
“Ever since a group of scientists switched the lights on and off at the Hawthorne factory in the mid-1920s, scholars and executives alike have been obsessed with increasing their employeesâ€™ productivity. In particular, happiness as a way to boost productivity seems to have gained increased traction in corporate circles as of late. Firms spend money on happiness coaches, team-building exercises, gameplays, funsultants, and Chief Happiness Officers (yes, youâ€™ll find one of those at Google). These activities and titles may appear jovial, or even bizarre, but companies are taking them extremely seriously. Should they?”
itâ€™s actually not clear that encouraging happiness at work is always a good idea. Sure, there is evidence to suggest that happy employees are less likely to leave, more likely to satisfy customers, are safer, and more likely to engage in citizenship behavior.
To start, we donâ€™t really know what happiness is, or how to measure it.
Happiness doesnâ€™t necessarily lead to increased productivity.
One study on British supermarkets even suggests there might be a negative correlation between job satisfaction and corporate productivity: The more miserable the employees were, the better the profits
Happiness can be exhausting. The pursuit of happiness may not be wholly effective, but it doesnâ€™t really hurt, right? Wrong
But today, many non-customer facing employees are also asked to be upbeat. This could have some unforeseen consequences.
One study found that people who were in a good mood were worse at picking out acts of deception than those who were in a bad mood.
Happiness could damage your relationship with your boss. If we believe that work is where we will find happiness, we might, in some cases, start to mistake our boss for a surrogate spouse or parent.
It could also hurt your relationship with friends and family. In her bookCold Intimacies Eva Illouz noticed a strange side effect of people trying to live more emotionally at work: They started to treat their private lives like work tasks.
It could make losing your job that much more devastating. If we expect the workplace to provide happiness and meaning in our life, we become dangerously dependent on it.
So why, contrary to all of this evidence, do we continue to hold on to the belief that happiness can improve a workplace? The answer, according to one study, comes down to aesthetics and ideology. Happiness is a convenient idea that looks good on paper
When we assume that happy workers are better workers, we can sweep more uncomfortable questions under the carpet, especially since happiness is often seen as a choice.
Being digital requires being open to reexamining your entire way of doing business and understanding where the new frontiers of value are. For some companies, capturing new frontiers may be about developing entirely new businesses in adjacent categories; for others, it may be about identifying and going after new value pools in existing sectors.
Creating value in core businesses
Digitalâ€™s next element is rethinking how to use new capabilities to improve how customers are served. This is grounded in an obsession with understanding each step of a customerâ€™s purchasing journeyâ€”regardless of channelâ€”and thinking about how digital capabilities can design and deliver the best possible experience, across all parts of the business.
Proactive decision making. Relevance is the currency of the digital age
Contextual interactivity. This means analyzing how a consumer is interacting with a brand and modifying those interactions to improve the customer experience.
Real-time automation. To support this cyclical give-and-take dynamic with customers and help them complete a task now requires extensive automation. Automation of customer interactions can boost the number of self-service options that help resolve problems quickly, personalize communications to be more relevant, and deliver consistent customer journeys no matter the channel, time, or device
Journey-focused innovation. Serving customers well gives companies permission to be innovative in how they interact with and sell to them.
Building foundational capabilities
The final element of our definition of digital is about the technological and organizational processes that allow an enterprise to be agile and fast. This foundation is made up of two elements:
Mind-sets. Being digital is about using data to make better and faster decisions, devolving decision making to smaller teams, and developing much more iterative and rapid ways of doing things
System and data architecture. Digital in the context of IT is focused on creating a two-part environment that decouples legacy systemsâ€”which support critical functions and run at a slower paceâ€”from those that support fast-moving, often customer-facing interactions
“n the age of Amazon and Uber, tech companies are moving e-commerce pricing strategies into a new era. Pricing is a sink or swim for retailers and only by replacing gut-feel pricing decisions with a machineâ€“learning led strategy will the weak be separated from the strong in what has become a ferociously competitive market.”
Putting science into pricing decisions allows e-commerce retailers to set the optimum price for individual items and understand the effects price changes have on sales.
Pricing that is influenced by demand and what customers are willing to pay is as old as trading itself.
It is crucial for e-commerce retailers to ensure that they set the optimum price for individual items and understand the significant effects price changes can have on sales.
Once you have that â€˜nirvanaâ€™ price balance, retailers can begin to maximise profits by monitoring internal data (sales history, real-time demand) and external data (weather, public holidays, school holidays, competitor pricing) leading to the optimal price point for any product.
However, the problem lies in the fact that most companies today lack the software required to approach pricing strategically and automatically, instead relying on a number of methods that have limited value.
“The past few years have seen the rise of whatâ€™s been variously referred to as the on-demand, collaborative, sharing, or peer-to-peer economy. Regardless of what we call it, this trend has captured the publicâ€™s imagination. Articles on the subject now appear fairly frequently. Some of the articles are focused on the empowerment nature of these technology-based economic models, enabling people to get what they need from each other. Others are more concerned with on-demandâ€™s impact on the very nature of work in the 21st century. “
Jeremiah Owyangargues that the collaborative economy is the evolution of the Internet-based economy of the past two decades. The one-to-many Web 1.0 made lots of information accessible to individuals, but control remained mostly in the hands of institutions. It was followed by the many-to-manyWeb 2.0, where individuals could easily share content and opinions with each other. Now, the on-demand phase of the Internet economy is enabling individuals to go way beyond sharing information.
â€œIf you want to start a fight in otherwise polite company, just declare that the sharing economy is the new feudalism, or else that itâ€™s the future of work and all the serfs should just get used to it, already,
A Financial Times article reflected on what it means to be running â€œa collaborative business model within a capitalist framework
For the most part itâ€™s a hypocrisy the community is trying to addressâ€¦ For now, the uncomfortable truth is that the sharing economy is a rent-extraction business of the highest middle-man order
There was much discussion that this emerging economy is now practically owned by Silicon Valleyâ€™s 1 percent. â€œThe sharing economy has created 17 billion-dollar companies (and 10 unicorns),â€
â€œThe one percent clearly own the sharing startups, which means this is continued capitalism – not idealistic socialism.â€
In market segment after market segment, ubiquitous communications and very low transaction costs continue to give rise to new firms which aim to efficiently bring together consumers and providers of goods and services with their highly scalable platforms and innovative applications.
should we just accept that this is the way capitalism has always worked and celebrate their innovative business models? Is this just another manifestation of the historical transition from an industrial to a digital economy?
Even before the founding of the company in 2009, the United States economy was rapidly becoming an Uber economy writ large, with tens of millions of Americans involved in some form of freelancing, contracting, temping or outsourcing.â€
â€œThe only way forward is something that has gotten far too little attention, called dependent contractors.
A major concern with on-demand companies is that a number might achieve monopoly status, trapping their freelance workers into a kind of digital serfdom
Instead, freelance workers should have fully portable digital credentials and reputations. â€œ
Both camps need to remember that the on-demand economy is not introducing the serpent of casual labour into the garden of full employment: it is exploiting an already casualised workforce in ways that will ameliorate some problems even as they aggravate others.â€
With timeâ€¦ competition will force companies to improve on worker and user rights. And itâ€™s unclear for how long being an asset-light operation will remain an advantage, especially if and when incumbents step up their game.â€
“There is, however, one evident change in recent times that is influencing the practice of managing: the digital technologies which over the past two decades have dramatically increased speed and volume in the transmission of information. Have their impacts on managing been likewise dramatic?”
managing is hectic: it is fast-paced, high-pressured, and frequently interrupted
And managing has generally been lateral as well as hierarchical: research has found that managers spend at least as much time with people outside their units as with those inside.
I found in my original research, long before anyone heard a machine say â€œyouâ€™ve got mail!â€, that many managers choose to be interrupted. Digital communications bolster this
Internet connectivity has not reduced managersâ€™ orientation to action â€“ and their disinclination to engage in reflection.
With all those electrons flying about, the hyperactivity gets worse, not better
Finally, digital communications technologies, and in particular social media, push the lateral tendencies of managing further by making it easier to establish new contacts and keep â€œin touchâ€ with existing ones.
The internet, by giving the illusion of control, may in fact be robbing many managers of control over their own work
“Watson, the AI-powered computing system from IBM, could be one of the systems that leads the charge in bringing tools such as machine learning, automated reasoning, and natural language processing to the forefront of the business world. “
“Frank Bock is the Project Director responsible for Enterprise 2.0 adoption at the German engineering and electronics company Bosch. Since the beginning of 2012 he has worked on making Bosch Connect, the IBM Connections- based internal platform, the enabler of a new way of working and communicating inside the company.”
From month to month, we allowed the user base to grow while implementing the use cases that early adopters were discovering when interacting on the platform.”
Use cases are anecdotes that show users the steps for achieving a specific goal through the platform. In that sense they are highly educational and can help employees to get up to speed with the too
But in a highly complex organisation with hundreds of units and business areas, describing some use cases to general employees can be difficult. “Because of the specificity of the type of work and interactions, they can be hard to explain as well as to comprehend. At the beginning we had some strong discussions around which ones to implement.”
“It took us more than one year to sort out how to run those processes entirely on a virtual community. But, once that was achieved, the people working on that project were able to increase transparency and in parallel reduce administrative efforts and e-mails. They gained a great deal of efficiency via doing all the communications through the ESN.”
the E2.0 team described common and recurring â€˜daily workâ€™ procedures, which everybody benefits from by transferring them to Bosch Connect.
To build engagement the E2.0 project uses a strategy that combines a top-down with a bottom-up approach.
Top-down means that we are trying to find spots within the management where Bosch Connect could really support the business.
. “Within the bottom-up approach we established an ambassadors programme with a global network of volunteers helping their colleagues to adopt new ways of working and the tool.”
The overall rule when creating a community is that “it has to support the business.”
When a user enters the platform for the first time, that wizard gives them a tailored explanation telling them where and how to start. We try to give recommendations based on job roles
the job of Internal Communications has to do with combining the available channels depending on the target group or the communication goal. “We have a great communications team dealing with it by exploring the new dialogue options and sharing experiences throughout the internal Communicatorâ€™s community.”
uture plans include integrating IBM Connections with other online tools such as document management systems. “Right now we have different solutions. It can be difficult for users to understand which one to use depending on the situation.
” On the presidential campaign trail, Jeb Bush proclaims that Uber fulfills the American dream of self-sufficiency, while Hillary Rodham Clinton suggests Uber raises â€œhard questionsâ€ about the financial security of a modern job. Rand Paul extols Uber for revealing the obsolescence of government regulation, while Martin Oâ€™Malley argues that it exposes the need for new labor laws.”
â€œItâ€™s becoming a lightning-rod, wedge issue that candidates have to address,â€ said Steven Hill, the author of a coming book about Uber and the so-called sharing economy. â€œIt has real and symbolic importance about the direction of our economy
And even as Democratic candidates have expressed dismay over Uberâ€™s treating its drivers as independent contractors instead of full-time employees who could receive health care and retirement benefits, they are reluctant to criticize the company.
The candidates that can articulate how they are going to get more money into the pockets of these workers to make them middle class will be the ones with more traction here.
said he was â€œoptimistic about companies like Uber because of their role in revitalizing cities across the country.â€
as companies like Uber grow and expand, we need to update our labor laws.â€ His proposal: making employee benefits portable,
ompanies like Airbnb and Uber were â€œunleashing innovation.â€ But she worried about the absence of â€œworkplace protectionsâ€ and wondered, in this new era of part-time labor, dictated by an app on a cellphone, what â€œa good job will look like in the future.â€
â€œIt is nice what Uber has done for a lot of people that need an extra job or an extra income,