The “Now Economy”
We are all familiar with streaming services such as Netflix and ESPN+ which provide immediate gratification. Food delivery is one of the hottest sectors for Venture Capital (Walmart has recently followed suit). Smart home technology is making it such that we aren’t required to lift a finger within the home – soon only our vocal cords will benefit from exercise.
Consumers increasingly enjoy and expect high convenience services in their personal lives. This culture of convenience and immediacy is permeating the workplace. What are the implications for the Enterprise?
How the Now Economy Will Impact the Workplace
The Now Economy will have a far-reaching impact on the enterprise. If you feel that your workplace environment and culture moves fast today, wait until today’s teens and twenty-somethings gain purchasing power in the global economy. Your organization will need to be quick, flexible and comprehensive when engaging with the upcoming customer.
- Quick: Quick to respond to customer inquiries. Quick to resolve customer service issues. Quick to deliver a product or service. Quick to answer internal inquiries. Quick to provide performance feedback. Technology can help. For example, leverage conversational AI to provide customers with immediate information at the initial point of contact (often your mobile Website). This technology may also be deployed internally to make employee interactions more efficient. If you think you have the luxury of addressing conversational AI in due time think again. More than 3,000 chat bots are created each day on Microsoft’s Bot Framework. Second, leverage on-device computing to provide software products and services with zero latency. Google has raised the bar in this area. Third, Intelligent Process Automation can automate a series of discreet tasks to provide a fully automated experience. This is achieved by incorporating AI and Robotic Process Automation (“RPA”) into a unified system.
- Flexible: Flexible in terms of your firm’s ability to deliver a service. For example, on-premise vs. cloud vs. full outsourcing. Flexible in terms of adding new products and services to your existing portfolio (“plug and play” modular approach). Flexible in terms of how your offerings are priced: upfront payment vs. subscription vs. transaction, a la carte pricing vs. bundled. Flexible in terms of making it easy for customers to add and subtract users from a service.
- Comprehensive: Comprehensive in terms of providing complete information when interacting with customers (external and internal). Comprehensive product and service descriptions. Comprehensive offerings inclusive of product updates, product support and personalization. Machine learning can be leveraged to understand usage patterns at the user level – thus facilitating a firm’s ability to deliver personalized offerings. This is one of the reasons why we believe that AI, machine learning and deep learning will become ubiquitous much like electricity.
Prioritization for Maximum Performance
Working under the assumption that everyone wants everything now, it is essential to prioritize in order to maximize performance in the Now Economy. It can be helpful to have a quantifiable corporate mission to mitigate ambiguity about what may or may not be important. GMs, Managing Directors, down to the most junior employees ought to pursue daily activities in support of his/her personal mission which roll-up to the corporate mission.