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.