This blog is an exploration of the emergent / established notion of provisioning information technology solutions to solve end user business problems in the consumer domain from an end to end perspective leveraging from a data center to the end user device and everything else in between.
Look at companies like Apple, Google, Amazon and now Microsoft. They have taken upon themselves to establish this mode of solution provisioning and make it the new normal. Microsoft is in a unique position to quickly penetrate enterprises and the business domain by articulating this mode of solution provisioning to end users and IT departments in the business domain.
Blackberry has the history of being a strong player when it comes to the mobile device in the business space but notions like bring your own device and the general malaise around very little device level differentiation among the major device vendors has allowed for a dispersion of other devices in the enterprise. The malaise being that the fundamental use case of a device happens to be phone, messaging and browsing. Nobody has really leveraged the device as a thick client is provisioning solutions and I am open to correction with specific examples from the business space.
I think that some of the following reasons have led to vendors controlling the complete stack from the datacenter to end user device:
• Providing the end user with a “branded” experience
• Ensuring predictability of the end user experience
• Providing a consistent experience
• Providing a “desirable” experience
• Ensuring a closed loop experience where tabs can be kept on the complete end user experience to ensure minimum jitter in the complete end to end experience, including the potential to study end user behavior, track and trace, and leverage the behind the scenes tracking and feedback to improve upon the solution offering proactively rather than wait for end user complaint.
• Rapid evolution of the offering based on some of the above reasons
• Ensuring the maximum leverage of the device as a thick client as and where possible
• Ensure that device and ecosystem switching cost prohibit the user from making a move to a different ecosystem
• Ensure a sticky user post buying into the ecosystem
• Blur the lines intelligently between the work and life persona of the end user
There are inherent challenges in provisioning this end to end solution offering in terms of
• The effort and cost involved in keeping up the end user experience
• The need for constant evolution to cater to the evolving tastes and preference of the user plus to beat back competitive ecosystems
• Ensure that the user is at the center of the decision making and not “coolness”
• Ensure that the mantra, “serve, serve, serve” is something that is constantly at the fore
• Pay obeisance to the governing principle that, “ a walled garden is only as good as the content within the walls of the garden”
These are some of the musings that I wanted to put forth to reflect upon this topic. The present day ecosystem wars will keep this space interesting and hopefully some player will emerge to take the mission seriously to the business domain and articulate something as powerful as has been articulated by different players for the consumer domain.