I have a dream
The human being is very good at imagining things, an ability completely absent in automated systems.
Human beings, on the other hand, are in general not very good at keeping track of many details. Why not leave that to systems - that is in fact a strong side of automated systems.
Until now focus has been on building systems to help people with their administrative tasks. The technology is there to take systems a great step forward to liberate people from their administrative tasks.
There are many obstacles on the road to liberation. The systems of today are not designed to liberate people; they are still designed to assist the user. And frankly many people will be quite scared of the idea of being liberated from their administrative tasks.
I suggest we start by changing the way we build systems. Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) has been a buzzword and has now emerged from the trough of disillusionment and is climbing the slope according to Gartner Group. SOA is not enough though - We need to take the concept to the next level: Event Driven Architecture (EDA). This kind of systems will enable the next step of the transition.
The next step is to change the user role from being controlling the systems to supervising the systems. Users should only handle unforeseen exceptions and adjusting the system rules to handle new or changing scenarios.
If these steps are taken gradually it is possible to change peoples habits and behaviour in an acceptable way without too much fear generation.
Going through these steps will release time for employees to engage with customers using various social media. This way you have an opportunity of increasing awareness of your company and brand and thus increasing your brand value.
I have heard lots of objections to automating administration. One example: "We can't send automated reminders for overdue payments to our good customers." I have three arguments against this position:
- You can define your good customers and avoid the automated reminder to those customers
- If you have a good relationship with your customers they probably don't have overdue payments
- If you have a good relationship with a good customer in trouble you will have discussed the situation up front and they will not be upset by automated reminders
Do you have objections to fully automated administrative systems?