I have a confession to make. I recently realized that for many years I’ve been wrong about a few things.
First, I was under the impression that consumers have fun. Consumers have all the cool gadgets – from fancy tablets and smartphones to nice, user-friendly software solutions that can be used off duty. I couldn’t help but think that this is unfair, as the business user is tied to ugly and boring business software. It wasn’t that long ago that there was a buzz of “gamification” – the idea of bringing all these cool attributes to business users’ screens so that it would be more enjoyable to do some serious work and ultimately boost productivity.
But then the truth hit me one day. I was in the middle of a situation with a customer project, far away from the civilized world, far from my trusty laptop, only relying on my smartphone filled with all the cool apps I use every day when I leave the office. I needed to collect a bunch of documents from different places: my e-mail archives, our support portal, and a couple of workgroup applications we use. No problem, I thought. I had my cool device, and all the documents I needed to collect were accessible through the Internet. I even had installed apps for almost all the applications so I hardly needed to open a browser for the regular user interface. Easy stuff. Or so I thought.
After I struggled for a good hour to collect a handful of documents from different places and gather them in a single e-mail whie one app continuously crashed, I had an epiphany. This is the reality for the consumer as well. Everything is great as long as you are using one application, but the cooperation between applications is hard, especially with a mobile device.
In the following days, I decided to pay attention to the things I was doing in a regular work day. Because the simple task of copying some things from one place to another was so hard on a mobile device, did that mean it was as hard when I was working on my laptop? No, it wasn’t. In fact, these regular tasks had become too easy. I hadn’t realized how much of my work day I was spending simply copy and pasting information from one place to another. Code snippets, text fragments, tables, bitmaps, files, links, etc...I realized this is something that I had become accustomed to, not only in business, but also as a consumer. Copying a link to a social media feed, letting my friends read the article behind this link, copying a photo somewhere so that everyone can see it. The list goes on.
We are all integrating information between different applications. Copy and pasting in business and as a consumer. We don’t understand how much time we are wasting here, because we are so used to it. We are wasting time at the office as well as our free time. The consumer doesn’t have it any better than the business user.
The other thing I have been wrong about is my opinion that optimization is irrelevant, and that the development of new solutions is the only true element by which you can make your business grow. I have written about this, stating that when creating integration solutions with iPaaS you should focus on creating new services over optimizing existing processes. This is nonsense.
As long as you are doing things that could be automated, you are not unleashing your full creative power. If you are wasting time in trivial tasks, you cannot think about new opportunities. By getting rid of manual tasks, by optimizing your processes, you will have time to think about how to grow your business. And the privilege of thinking about how to grow the business should not be in hands of some artificial “business development” group. Ideas can come from anywhere in the organization. These ideas can only be born if the people within the organization are not doing some trivial stuff that could be automated.
The art of killing copy-pasting is a key success factor in developing ideas for business growth. Optimization leads to efficiency, and efficiency frees time for development. So I was wrong here as well.
We at Youredi are talking about “Complete Integration”. It is a motto, a vision – something that we see as a key factor to growing your business. Making applications communicate with each other automatically – not through manual tasks carried out by end users – is the key to success. Through optimization into developing business. Into the point where you will gradually forget your CTRL-C – CTRL-V keyboard shortcuts. To the point where you don’t need ever again export that CSV file just to be imported again into another business application. Into a situation where you can focus on growing your business.