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The Mobility Movement: Transaction vs Consumption
Submitted by elannert on 2012-06-06T15:09:13
Last month we held our annual Capitalize on Illinois conference. Consumption versus Transactions is the big idea that I capitalized on at Capitalize 2012.
The themes were mobility, cloud, and big data. Our excellent group of presenters and all of the attendees really had some great things to say around these topics. Mark McDonald of Gartner gave a high energy and especially inspiring talk about the current movement toward tablets and mobile devices.
When people say it’s not about the transaction, it’s about the experience, I usually see that as a lot of fluff. It is really abstract. Mark McDonald’s comment about information consumption made this notion tangible. He talked about a company that has a sales planning system that was set up where there’s no information going IN at all. Its not a transaction system, it’s pure information consumption. They cross reference the location of the salesperson and use that information to map the location of current customers. This helps the person plan where to do a cold call visit.
For me, information systems have mostly been about processes and transactions. Most of my peers are the same way, we obsess about the cost/speed/retention to book a flight, move a balance, or do something.
The “creatives” however, are approaching everything from a consumer (as in consuming) point of view. According to Mark, they take transacting off the table from the start and simply think about what information could be consumed in a given context.
Context means everything. This was meaningless when you were talking about desktop computers because they didn’t have context; they sat in an office. Context was artificially constructed about where you were in a transaction.
Mobile devices, because they know where you are physically, or because they are with you when you are on your way to a meeting, have the amazing ability to be very powerful when providing information to consume. It’s the context that creates the need for information that makes an experience.
This idea directly relates to i.c.stars. Recently, I’ve been fretting over the fact that 40% of recruiting traffic is happening on a mobile. I’m nauseated by the cost of reconstructing the online application user experience for a mobile interface.
However, Mark has helped me realize that’s a transaction mindset, not a contextual consumption strategy. Our mobile needs to think first about what information to give candidates to consume in a given context. For example, when and where is the next information session? Where am I in relation to it? Can we avoid people going to 212 East Superior by mistake. We can also use a service like Twilio to send text reminders to candidates about info sessions and appointments.
We are finally entering a period where technology and tools are used to make the lives of customers and employees easier and not just to create more transactions.
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