Written on February 16, 2011 at 11:02 am, by Concur
We’re spending this week in Las Vegas at our largest global client conference, Fusion. For the blog, we’ve gathered up some of the thoughts and ideas that are driving us and what people are hearing about at our keynote addresses.Pictured below: Steve Singh, CEO and Chairman.
What amazing and exciting times we live in. Accelerated. Exhilarating. Breathtaking. And seemingly unstoppable. Think of all the technology around you that you didn’t have five years ago. Does your list include your smartphone, your iPad, your smaller and lighter laptop, your subscription to podcasts, your RSS feeds, your video and photo capabilities with your phone, your GPS unit, your ability to stream TV on your computer or smartphone?
Not only are we the beneficiaries of amazing innovations and technological advances, we have all become creators of these advances. People don’t just say, “Someone should improve this. This product needs to be enhanced.” People actually act on that statement by writing a new app, suggesting a new feature, developing a new product. We are living in a time where, as Jules Verne said, “Anything one man can imagine, other men can make real.”
Part of these accelerated advances stem from the blurring between our home and work lives. The separation between the two grows smaller every day. The acronym WFH (working from home) has become more prevalent in status updates, on whiteboards, on voicemail messages. For many people, going to work means working out of their home office. How much longer before it doesn’t even matter where we work from anymore?
Just as we’ve brought our technology home (our smartphones, our laptops, our cloud computing), we no longer accept a difference between what we can do from work or what we have at home. We want the same productivity and availability in both places.
This meshing of technology, productivity and how businesses interact with their users and consumers was first identified by Gartner years ago. They called it “the consumerization of the enterprise.” In other words, our social, shareable, and mobile lives have changed the way enterprise companies do business.
We are seeing a toppling the old (business to consumer) in favor of the new (consumer to business). In some ways, it can be seen as a grassroots movement. Consumers are dictating to businesses how they want to use and experience programs. They want systems to be easy to use, highly reliable and always accessible. They want innovations to be pushed out quickly. Gone are the days when businesses updated their programs once a year or longer. Monthly or even weekly upgrades have become the norm.
Take a look at your own business and your lines of communication to your users. Your users are your best experts on your product. They know exactly how your products can help them be more productive both at work, and at home. Have you set up a direct line with them for feedback? Look to Twitter or Facebook to open those channels for you and get involved in the conversation. If you don’t have a social media strategy in place, give your users a publicly available email address. Allow your users to effortlessly provide you with feedback, innovation tips, and information that will fuel your company, not just now but for years to come.
This is the time to listen to users, make enhancements to programs, and act quickly and smartly to feedback. This is the time to get ahead of the curve and be responsive. For us, it’s not just something we believe in, it’s something we act on and make real.
To join the Fusion conversation, follow conference happenings on @ConcurInc on Twitter, search on the #fusion2011 hashtag, or visit our Concur Facebook page.