Frictionless enterprise, the video – six quick takeaways


Jon Reed teases out the essence of frictionless enterprise in conversation with Phil Wainewright. Here are six key takeaways, plus the full 12-minute video

For almost six years now I’ve been evolving the notion of frictionless enterprise as a framework that gives direction and meaning to digital transformation. There are dozens of blog posts and essays on diginomica for those who want to dig into the details, but it’s more convenient to give people a quick summary.

So I was glad to sit down with Jon Reed recently to record this 12-minute video which hits on the key points of frictionless enterprise. Our thanks to FinancialForce for providing the facilities at its recent Community Live event in Las Vegas — we also did several customer interviews which are now live on the diginomica YouTube channel.

To give a flavor of what you’ll learn from the video, here are six key takeaways we hit on during the conversation.

1. Transform the enterprise

The notion of frictionless enterprise is based on the idea that connected digital technology makes it possible to sweep away existing barriers and demarcations that have grown up in the traditional enterprise. So the enterprise itself has to transform:

Digital transformation is not just about changing the technology, it’s about changing the way the enterprise works. We’ve got to use the technology and its connectedness to sweep away all of those barriers.

2. Connection is key

The point people often miss is that it’s not just about going digital. Being connected is what’s driving the most fundamental change.

The more successful you are in this frictionless enterprise world, the more networked you are, the more connected you are.

3. Break out of the box

Frictionless enterprise is all about finding new ways to connect that break out of the constraints of traditional enterprise structures:

We don’t have to put people in the old boxes any more to get things done — connect people to resources and to outcomes.

The notion of unbundling and rebundling is an important concept here.

4. Five key characteristics

There are five key characteristics of frictionless enterprise — it permeates everywhere, resources are available on-demand, information and results appear in real-time, it is a collaborative endeavor, and it is in a constant state of readiness for change.

5. Context is everywhere

The ubiquity of smart devices that are connected into the shared computing fabric of the cloud means that context no longer has to be conveyed in traditional transactional documents and forms — it’s inherent in the environment. This makes it much easier to get information to the right people and connect them into appropriate workflow.

Now the transaction is going digitally in a connected environment, so the context is just there in the system.

6. It’s end-to-end

Notions of bimodal IT and 2-speed enterprise will just hold you back. Frictionless enterprise means getting in-house systems of record up to the same speed as customer-facing systems of engagement:

If you don’t tie all the rest of the activities within the enterprise into that engagement with the customer, then it’s not going to work out.

For further reading, see also our recent pieces on the growing role of collaboration and the transition to XaaS.

Image credit - Screengrab from video

Disclosure - FinancialForce is a diginomica premier partner at time of writing and paid travel expenses for diginomica writers to attend its event in Las Vegas as well as supplying the video facilities for this recording.

    1. Jon Reed says:

      Hi Phil – glad we had a chance to get this on video. The one drawback with “frictionless enterprise” is folks sometimes think it’s a pretentious analyst theory that implies we don’t recognize the importance of culture, process and people. I think the video and your posts help to show why all that matters, so I’m glad we had that banter. This is all informed by the use cases we do and I think your ideas match up well with what customers are saying to us – both about the aspiration and the obstacles.

      I also want to add for the benefit of readers your tweetstorm on the video here:

      The video … 10min overview w/ @jonerp covers key points:

      – “We don’t have to put people in the old boxes anymore to get things done – connect people to resources to outcomes.”

      – #frictionless #enterprise has 5 key characteristics – everywhere, on-demand, real-time, collaborative, change-ready

      – ““Now the transaction is going #digitally in a #connected environment, so the #context is just there in the system”

      – “If u don’t tie all the activities in the #enterprise into that #engagement w/ the customer, then it’s not gonna work”

    2. Hi Phil, Hi Jon,

      Thanks for unpacking the frictionless enterprise – connecting people to resources to outcomes. When I unpack the software architecture to implement this transformation in computer software. I come up with a need to go beyond “connectivity in the cloud” to connectivity in client applications (probably made by business developers as Salesforce has done in the cloud).

      This leads me to the 2006 PhD thesis of Mark S MIller: Robust Composition: Towards a Unified Approach to Access Control and Concurrency Control.

      Miller’s later work implements elements of the thesis to secure ECMAScript standards of JavaScript implemented by all the web browser manufacturers. The advanced body of work is known as Dr. SES (distributed resilient Secure EcmaScript).

      Sounds a bit pie in the sky, till one digs around and realizes for the past few years the standards have already been gradually implemented in 4 phases. The 5th phase will add the security to interconnect client apps without the need for traditional sanitizers (to keep malicious hackers out). Think of private blockchain smart contracts giving rise to object-capabilities with limited rights.

      Lastly these standards are not just driven by browser manufacturers, Salesforce is on onboard and fostering the standards. Of course standards can take a couple of years to appear in the next browser versions after adoption.

    3. Ashish Warudkar says:

      Hello Phil, Jon,

      I have worked on this concept for the last 2 years for the Kaiser Permanente ecosystem. Got fascinating results. With your permission, I am appropriating your term ‘frictionless enterprise’.

      Wud luv to exchange ideas..


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