What if technology adapted to people? The new frontier of digital experiences is technology designed specifically for individual human behavior.
This key trend from the 2017 Accenture Technology Vision highlights how human-centered design will empower people to invent more and achieve more in the era of the intelligent enterprise. This year’s overarching theme, “Amplify You,” illustrates that human empowerment is at the heart of the digital revolution. Rapid advances have created a people-centric technology environment—giving individuals the power to shape technology as they see fit.
Tech Vision 2017 Trend: Design for Humans—Inspire New Behaviors
Business leaders recognize that as technology shrinks the gap between effective human and machine cooperation, accounting for unique human behavior expands not only the quality of experience, but also the effectiveness of technology solutions. This shift is transforming traditional personalized relationships into something much more valuable: partnerships.
When technology works with people, they will use it. When it doesn’t, they’ll abandon or ignore it. The security industry’s struggles to impose safe computing standards and tools that effectively secure organizations are just one stark example of an increasingly clear technology insight: Functionality alone is not enough. To truly succeed, businesses need to account for human behavior.
The Pega Platform itself is a strong example of designing technology for human behavior. Pega was created to enable IT organizations to get from “A to Z” quickly by leveraging a huge selection of apps and components. Pega Platform’s power is its flexibility – it can consume any kind of data from any source, and allows configurators to very rapidly produce functional prototypes.
Accenture takes this one step further by formally incorporating Design Thinking into our Pega projects. We help our clients think differently, by focusing on the needs of the user. Through direct observation and qualitative data we ideate without limits. Then via rapid prototyping we streamline which solutions will work in the real world and within the technologies’ guardrails. Only these validated solutions are brought into implementation. Design Thinking represents the intersection of human user needs and business objectives.
We engage people much earlier in the process because we want their input up front and throughout the design stage. A fundamental difference in Design Thinking is how prototypes drive the requirements, instead of requirements driving the prototype. Pega Platform makes designing functioning prototypes fast and easy, a powerful human centered design is feasible without customizing the product. Let’s look at some examples of how Accenture has helped organizations achieve this with Pega technologies.
A banking institution had faced challenges optimizing their claims, disputes and wealth management systems. Accenture used a Design Thinking approach to identify where and how their current systems provided the highest and lowest returns on their technology investments. The team then created a roadmap that detailed the value derived versus the complexity of each program. This helped leadership gain a holistic view and make some critical decisions. Within a matter of weeks, Accenture created a prototype using Pega Platform that matched the experience both users and stakeholders desired. Furthermore, with the prototype’s design and process, the program could reach production faster than previously planned. Having seen the value in Design Thinking, the bank is now planning to use this approach for their mobile applications as well.
In another example, a high-tech company had allowed multiple tools for project management and resource allocation to proliferate based on individual teams’ desires to build their own tools. While this approach worked in the short term, it would not scale for long-term efficiencies. A pilot program to improve overall team effectiveness was initiated. The challenge was designing a tool acceptable to users who had ownership in their strong, but disparate, self-built tools. Using Pega Platform and a Design Thinking approach, we could design a flexible, adaptable architecture to which stakeholders could quickly respond. More importantly, they could evolve together over multiple iterations. The final solution, which included free-form sharing among project teams, a dashboard with clear escalation details and scheduling, task allocation and team workflows, would ultimately serve the needs of all users and remove redundancies across the enterprise.
By considering and responding to human behavior, businesses have an unprecedented opportunity to transform their relationships with people. Building on the insights available from vast amounts of data, leaders will create rich, responsive journeys that guide customers and employees toward achieving their goals, and walk with them to get there. With the power of these new partnerships, your company will find new opportunities to innovate, and new pathways into digital markets and industries. Just as your company will help customers and employees grow, these new relationships will help your business grow in return. This is the human-by-design approach that will deliver lasting value in the digital economy: technology that adapts to people, and puts their goals first.