Since the abacus, technology has been an integral part of every business. But, as the complexity increased from beading to mainframes, companies select, deploy and manage technology has changed drastically.
In the beginning, IT departments arose as a central powerhouse that governed the process of making decisions. They held a lot of power and could decide the type of technology people would use regardless of whether they liked it.
With cloud computing and other technological advances, the balance of power has changed. Nowadays, users’ preferences are the most critical factor in purchasing, and although it might seem contradictory, it’s not the most efficient technology. Still, it’s the most enjoyable experience that will win.
The shift wasn’t made overnight. It doesn’t have a distinct starting, middle, and ending. It’s a gradual process that unfolds in different time frames for various roles. But the overall pattern remains the same: A new technological approach emerges that is complex and requires the control of IT and engineers. In the next phase, competition is created, the complexity is reduced, and control shifts from techno-savvy to those who are experts in the field.
Consider email, for instance. When it was first introduced as an essential part of the enterprise, it was IT’s job. IT chose the program and the many available options available at the time. They then installed it on each PC, created each email account, and then manually checked the settings were in order. If problems did arise, IT came to fix the issue.
When email became a commodity, it was no longer as active. It’s the same with regards to CRM software and billing software. It is still part of the picture. However, the department using the software will have more control.
Alongside shifting the role of IT from a gadget gatekeeper to an agent of cross-functional strategic guidance, This power shift is changing the entire realm of software for business.
If we create solutions for businesses, The method we approach the product we make must be changed. In French, we can find the expression, “course a l’echalote,” which is a general description of the battle of vanity. Software competition by characteristics is a case of”l’echalote” because commodification renders each featureless critical. The bottom line is that consumers don’t look for the most effective or the most adaptable. They’ll search for that one factor that, according to their requirements, places one approach above the rest. This is usually what simplifies their lives. It’s all about the experience.
A great example of a business that gained a competitive advantage by providing a superior experience when it comes to completing a routine task in the industry is Dropbox. When it first launched, the sharing of large files was difficult. Dropbox made sharing more accessible, and people loved it. It was the first step on the road to the virtuous circular cycle known as Product-led Growth (PLG), which includes the product driving adoption and usage driving adoption, visibility driving usage, and visibility driving the adoption.
Now, you may think, “Why is he talking about Dropbox? That’s so last decade!” It’s probably true. Dropbox became a household name over its competitors due to something they couldn’t integrate with desktops. But, competitors caught up, and then a new player came into the market with a feature that made users’ lives much more accessible. The other player was Google, and that something was Drive.
Through Drive, Google went beyond the issue of the way people performed a task. It addressed the problem of connecting lessons and gave users the ability to create files with the same program used to share files. Organizations and individuals enjoyed it. At the point that Dropbox began to catch up, it was already to be too late.
However, that doesn’t mean that Google’s power is invincible. In the frantic world of product development, There’s always someone waiting to take your idea and develop it further. For Google, the new competitors include companies such as Notion, one of our customers. Ours, who saw flaws in what had been viewed as one of Google’s greatest strengths: its network of interconnected systems.
Notion adopted a different approach towards connectedness, taking the concept of centralizing content creation and sharing to a new level that are flexible and integrated capabilities that Google didn’t have. People found the ability to integrate external content such as to-do lists, Miro board designs, video prototypes, and to-do lists — extremely useful. Today, in addition to spreadsheets and documents, they can create various things such as maps, databases, and even Kanban. This changed their experience for them and also made the process simpler. It made a difference in helping Notion achieve a 10 billion dollar valuation.
The landscape of business technology purchases and usage shifts the market for business technology. A completely new category of software designed to improve and not replace parts of enterprises’ technology stack has come into existence. An excellent example is Spendesk’s online credit cards. Spendesk is a client of ours. It was wise not to market itself as a substitute rather than an enabler. It’s not trying to steal the market from credit card companies or bank accounts. Instead, it’s enhancing these accounts in a way that helps the finance department as well as the people who submit expenses to them much more accessible. On Jan. 1, Spendesk joined the Unicorn club.
This department of IT, which has a more elegant but less centralized new role within the company, is not in the least susceptible to a more leisurely lifestyle, and developers must always be aware of this. For our company, I was aware that downloading software could be an issue for IT, and so we decided to make our solution for video engagement that is browser-based. We then thought about the most important things to users. We focused on providing them with a more enjoyable experience by incorporating features for promotion, such as landing pages and other elements that can be used without much effort.
With the growing level of automation and integration, paired with the new world of non-code development, Engineering is expected to be the following field to undergo a significant change. Finding a solution that can make people’s lives easier can become a hit.