Removing friction from your phone
We’re all familiar with the friction in daily tasks— the things we have to do to accomplish our primary goals (checking out when grocery shopping, starting the car to drive somewhere, etc.). They’re like pets constantly underfoot when you’re trying to cook dinner, resisting your efforts to take an 8-pound roast out of the oven.
Thanks to technology however, nearly everything we do is becoming seamless. We are getting ‘caught on edges’ less and less as we witness leaps and bounds in innovation, leading to less resistance in shopping, traveling and even commuting to work.
Take smartphones, for example.
A vivid reflection of the Information Age: more than 75% of Americans have their own smartphone, according to Pew Research. This means more people than ever have access to all the information the Internet and social media have to offer right in the palm of their hand. But comparing what smartphones can do today to what they could do ten years ago is, in fact, no comparison whatsoever.
In 2007, it was an accomplishment to finish a 10-minute phone conversation without experiencing dropped coverage, let alone being able to look up who won the 1994 World Series in less than a second. With a combination of better service and better technology, you probably rarely experience dropped coverage or think twice about checking your email.
With all the advances in smartphone technology, making the smartphone user experience as frictionless as possible still has some ways to go. Voice control, for one, has never been as trusty or as smooth as it could be (how many times have you had to repeat yourself using your voice control feature?).
Hands-free options sometimes frustrate the user more than ease their experience. But with improvements to voice recognition, and with the smartphone giants set to announce new models in the fall, it’s likely we’ll see more seamless, frictionless smartphone models this season.
Removing friction has driven innovation since the advent of the wheel, and the effects on daily life and on business have been transformative. Farming replaced foraging, making possible the first agricultural revolution, and steam power replaced water power, contributing to the Industrial Revolution. In the past few decades the pace has seemed to quicken again, with business transformed by the personal computer, the Internet and by attendant evolutions in processes like electronic invoicing.
One effect of smartphones on business has been to make it easier to do business away from the office, and to work outside of set office hours. As the boundaries of business have expanded, the tempo of business has accelerated and capabilities have grown. Just as smartphones have let far-off family members and friends stay in touch, and enabled consumers everywhere to access the information they needed to make smarter, more informed decisions, so true e-invoicing today is allowing Suppliers to keep track of their cash flow with 24/7 e-invoice status access, and enabling Buyers to make better decisions thanks to detailed analytics.
Digital transformation, now well into its 3rd decade, is letting everyone—consumers, Buyers and Suppliers—streamline the way they live and work and in the process strengthen the relationships on which they depend.