CIOs say there are too many apps, according to a CapGemini survey. It’s getting in the way of digital transformation they – or the people asking the leading questions say.
There are too few, more like.
I’ll invoke digital pioneer Stewart Brand once again…
Software is an extension of the nervous system.
If our machines are there to help us think, the last thing you want is everyone thinking in the same way, with the same tools. You just end up scaling flaws and narrow thinking and myopia along with all the efficiencies of scale.
You need standards and interoperability and APIs and all that. But too many apps? That’s just complexity-denial, wishing away diversity for the sake of a neat-looking IT infrastructure.
More people using more apps, that sounds like a company where digital transformation is really taking hold. A plurality of software, not a mechanised monoculture.
Last year I talked about the need for marketing agencies to “become McKinsey faster than McKinsey can become us”. Since then we’ve seen both industries begin to encroach on one another’s territories.
- Accenture’s purchase of Fjord.
- Deloitte Digital’s acquisition of digital agencies.
- Last month’s buying of Australian digital consultancy Stamford PWC.
Is there any action in the other direction? Well, we’ve not seen WPP or Omnicom buying management consultancies just yet, but there are plenty of people who would have been seen as belonging to the marketing-advertising complex taking up positions in management consultancy-land:
- Econsultancy offers training and consultancy on digital transformation.
- Fluxx’s positioning as a “product and innovation agency” is also interesting. Formed of people from a digital agency background, and EMC’s consulting wing, it appears to be a management consultancy that works with a tech-savvy, agile method.
- Brilliant new ideas like Adaptive Lab’s positioning as “start-up as a service” or a “skunworks-for-hire”. This can be used to develop apps and experiences for marketing – but products are about more than shiny-thing to grab the consumer’s attention – they can be businesses in their own right.
And, of course, Brilliant Noise, my own agency, with our “Customer First, Earn Advocacy, Transformative Digital” mantra – a year ago we saw ourselves as marketing spilling out into the rest of the organisation, an outcome of the need for marketing to be more connected to succeed, and of the disruption of ideas about how organisations work that the web is causing.
Let’s take a closer look at this phrase – arguably a re-badging of the clumsy “social business” tag, following on from whatever it was before. A bit clue-trainy, very tech-savvy.