Today’s buyers are distracted, and it’s affecting more than time management. A recent piece featured on BloombergView suggests that competitive businesses will embrace a “less-is-more” approach to technology to avoid the “productivity paradox” – the belief that despite rapid technological advancements, overall productivity appears to be declining. Startups are offering consumer products with very limited functionalities, like credit card-sized phones and devices that don’t allow installation of most third-party apps. These devices are designed, as stated about a Kickstarter project called Light Phone, “to be used as little as possible.”
But as smartphones and mobile devices become the primary screens for business, devices that discourage their owners from using them seem like a waste of money. And although app creep is real – both for consumers and B2B buyers – companies must combat it with technology that streamlines interactions, instead of creating more of them. The best solutions provide user experiences that are intuitive, frictionless and consistent across devices. The future of digital business must include interfaces that increase productivity by requiring as few intentional touches as possible.
Data: The Not-So-Secret Weapon
Since Google and Apple both rely on ad revenue from apps, there’s little incentive for tech giants to slow the app boom: they’re paid twice over in money and data. But for companies that build solutions to support and accelerate business interactions, using that data to streamline routine processes is the weapon that can beat app fragmentation. Integrations that fade into the background of a user experience can save time not just by requiring less attention, but by leveraging data from other systems to make communication, negotiations, and document generation and distribution nearly instant.
Solutions that can gather data from a variety of sources, and allow users to plug data into different types of documents or other interfaces, can move digital business one step closer to simple communication. That means companies must consider how they fit with other products in their market, as well as how they can help businesses declutter their tech stacks.
The dream of a single device or interface that allows people to work, communicate or read with little distraction is probably impossible. But it’s up to companies to work toward products that use data to give more clarity, insight and time to their users. That doesn’t just mean less tech – it means better tech.