Editor’s note: Social business strategist, author and radio show host Ryan Hogarth will deliver the opening keynote address at Africa CACS 2017, to take place 11-12 September in Accra, Ghana. Hogarth’s keynote is titled “We Are Not Robots.” Hogarth recently spoke with ISACA Now about some of the themes he will address, such as navigating digital disruption and how to strengthen relationships with customers. The following is an edited transcript:
ISACA Now: You use the term a “frictionless economy.” What do you mean by that?
Everything about being a customer has been transformed through our use of customizable technology because friction is constantly eliminated. We can get what we want or what we need with a click, a tap, a swipe or a gesture. The businesses that will succeed are those that understand their customers’ journey enough to use the right technology to remove friction and make interaction, servicing and purchasing seamless and effortless, or frictionless.
ISACA Now: What are some common mistakes that organizations make in navigating digital disruption?
The two most common mistakes are:
- Ignoring it and pretending that disruption does not affect your industry or business. Here we see an insistence that the way business has always been done is sufficient to ensure success in the future. These are the companies that will not allow access to social media at the office or who discourage the use of smartphones for work.
- Over-investing in technology without a change in thinking and culture. Here we have the affliction of doing old things with new technology. Converting training manuals to PDF and making them available on a tablet does not mean digital transformation. Before investing in technology, a business should first be clear about what technology their customers and teams use, and then shape your technology to fit them.
ISACA Now: What are the best ways for an organization to strengthen its relationship with customers?
First, map your customers’ journey. What is their actual, real-world experience with your brand or business? Knowing this is far harder than we at first think because we make assumptions about what our customers actually do and experience. Once you plot this out, the shortcomings become far clearer and solutions a lot more obvious.
ISACA Now: Do you think most enterprises are utilizing social media effectively?
No. Most enterprises that are on social media still view it as just another tool of sales or marketing rather than a means of communication and relationship. Again, this requires a shift in thinking. Are you thinking about how you can build a relationship with a customer or just how you can push your latest offering?
ISACA Now: What technological innovations do you anticipate having the most impact on the global economy within the next few years?
There are several: Self-driving cars, clean energy, augmented reality, artificial intelligence, blockchain, high-quality online education, food science and medical technology. All of these are important because their impact will affect so many industries beyond the obvious. We see the immediate effect in how global businesses are playing in fields far outside their traditional spaces. Social media wants to get into banking, tech firms are playing in areas of transportation or health, and banks are pushing hard into the tech space.