Human-centered applications - the route to disruption and dominance

  • Posted on August 15, 2019
  • Estimated reading time 4 minutes

Life is all about convenience, and the organisations who make life easier are those who tend to see success. Whether it’s mobile banking (that seems old hat already) or groceries delivered to your home when you want them, our everyday lives have all been made easier by businesses who embrace technology.

Nobody’s got time to waste, right? Just take a moment and think about how integral apps are to your life. If I need to get a train or a bus, I can check where it is and see if it’s on time. If I need to park my car, I just need an app. I can even book a space in advance, turn up and park on someone’s driveway. It’s all so easy.

If I want a pizza, I go on an app, place an order and keep track of the delivery driver. Perfect, because nobody can ever find my house and Sat Nav sends you to the wrong road. I used to wonder if my pizza would ever turn up. Now, with an innovative app that launched GPS tracking a few years back, when the delivery driver gets to the top of the road, I shoot outside and flag him down. Easy. 

The late Steve Jobs famously said, “People don’t know what they want until you show it to them”. I never asked to see where the driver was, but now I need to know. By focusing on customer experience, this business has created what we call “human-centered applications”. And guess what? I always get my pizza from them and they’ve recently established themselves as the number one player in their sector.

But they’ve not stopped there. I can now ask Alexa for a pizza, or even order food from the car. What haven’t I thought of that will come next?

Disruption is happening, but it’s no longer just the startups doing the disrupting. Having the right setup allows this pizza company to take new offerings to market faster.

Other disruptors, whether they’re startups or incumbents, are everywhere, creating new business models and changing customer expectations. The next generation of applications are here now and every organization needs to be able to respond if they’re to survive and thrive.

Think about the world of banking – it takes time to open an account, and you need to provide loads of paperwork don’t you. Not any more – you can now open accounts with a selfie and complete the entire process in about 5 minutes. What about insurance, with chatbots becoming more commonplace, AI automating the advice a customer used to receive from a broker, and apps that allow us to get insurance in a matter of minutes.

Three of my favourite examples of organizations creating new business models through innovative applications:

  1. Carwow – in the UK if you want a new car, you can spec all the details on Carwow, then sit back and wait for the dealerships to give you their best offer. A simple, but great, example of a reverse marketplace
  2. Tripbam – Shaking up the hotel bookings sector, Tripbam offers something different in a crowded space. Currently focused on corporate bookings, it monitors hotel bookings and if a lower rate becomes available, cancels the existing booking and re-books at the lower rate.
  3. Costco – the US wholesaler doesn’t sell cars but sold the most cars in the US in 2018. How? Costco acts as a negotiator for members, offering low, fixed prices on a wide range of vehicles available from local dealerships.

All of the above examples show how a great (but often simple) idea, fused with the right technology, can help any organization to disrupt any market. Real innovators solve problems that customers haven’t thought of, responding quickly to ideas and building what markets don’t yet know they need.

Find out how Avanade can help you to be prepared for anything, and what it means to be Ready by Design.

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