I recently attended the AIIM Conference. John Mancini and his team did a terrific job of pulling together a great line-up and creating ample learning and networking opportunities for attendees. I was impressed by the diversity of industries, disciplines, and interests that were represented. I guess this should come as no surprise as Information Management has to be a top priority for all successful businesses in this tech-disruptive time that we find ourselves in.
Approximately 700 information professionals attended and I think I counted more than 60 presenters?! WOW. I consistently heard lessons presented on the themes of data/analytics, cloud, social, and mobile technologies. This should also come as no surprise as Gartner and the New Media Consortium/Educause have both identified these as the top technologies and emerging trends to watch for their impending influence on business and education. A fifth theme that I heard might be the result of the Stephenie-filter that I was wearing: solve problems. This might seem rediculously obvious, but I felt the need to pull it out as its own theme for lessons that I didn’t want to fade into the background.
When I got back to the office, I had to spend some time digging out of the sea of emails and work that was waiting for me. Then I met with my boss (you probably know Chris Burd) to debrief. While the policyIQ Team has kept very busy this year addressing a number of relevant initiatives, the conference discussions and themes helped me to better see and organize some “to dos” for the policyIQ Team. This feels a bit like writing a book report, but my aim is to think about our business and to develop an actionable “how to” that our team can use to shape and guide our priorities in keeping with the top tech trends that are probably being discussed at your office, too.
In the spirit of being more transparent (a commitment that we’ve made to our customers based on your feedback to our client survey), I am sharing our “to do list” with you here:
policyIQ To Do List
With emerging technologies comes an explosion of data. We need to be thinking about how to use, and make useful, the information at hand. Consideration must be given to
- search (easy, fast, powerful, smart)
- tagging (by users based on relevance),
- reporting (simple and powerful, readily available),
- and visual representations of data.
We are in the midst of a Social Disruption!
This movement isn’t just about socializing and it’s not just about marketing…think of it as engaging them. Engagement is key—just ask the folks at Gallup. Several speakers at the AIIM Conference referenced Gallup engagement studies.
Companies and organizations of all shapes and sizes need to be thinking about how to engage their employees, members, customers, partners and vendors. (I’m focusing on the customer angle for this post.)
How can we leverage the power of collaboration?
- Invite Feedback and instill Transparency in the Process (like providing visibility into Feature Requests and our development plans).
- Ask questions and do more listening than talking–we need to check in with our customers more frequently throughout the development process.
- Show our customers ways that they can collaborate with each other, and then get out of their way! For example, we could share some ideas on how to use policyIQ to host a Wiki for each process area.
- Borrowing recognizable game mechanics like ratings, points, levels and recognition or reward, we can engage our customers in identifying and delivering the most useful data (there’s that word again) such as new policyIQ features, their policyIQ content, our user manual (Help) pages, our training materials, and so on.
Mobile, Time/Place Independent
There’s no question that tablets are a disruptive technology. I heard time and again that we need to think about what our customers do ‘at the task level’ and then consider what we can do in our ‘customer’s pocket’ (resist the visual—this is serious stuff)!
This is a tricky one for me to address…I know what it means, and we have some catching up to do. We’re soon to be cross-browser compatible, but that’s not enough!
What things could we help to automate that are “in the flow” of what our customers do?
- access checklists,
- questionnaires from any device.
Are there other things you can think of?
policyIQ was launched “in the cloud” nearly a decade ago. The obvious benefit is easy access from virtually anywhere…AND it’s likely more secure than most “in-house” applications (did you know that?).
Cloud products and services are big time and money savers. Customers don’t have to invest so much in technology infrastructure, specialized skillsets for design and development, nor the manpower to maintain that infrastructure and the applications hosted on it.
What more can we do to help customers leverage the power of the cloud?
Let’s talk some more about integration with other common applications.
As we mature in our “agility” we need to refine and speed up our cycles of customer feedback and implementation. We won’t get it right every time. As a matter of fact, we need to get more comfortable with failure. In the spirit of being Agile, we need to “fail fast”, learn and start a new cycle—this is how we will continuously improve and better meet customer needs.
UX! User Experience is something we have talked about since policyIQ was born, but we need to hone our discipline. We need to make the product more
- And Accessible
- While still Secure
Solving problems and focusing on user experience really spans across all of the tech trends listed here and those to come. We need to continually talk to our customers and understand their circumstances.
- What can we help them to do?
- How can we make them more efficient?
- How can we help them to solve business problems?
- How can we help them to communicate with their stakeholders?
- How can we help them to make use of the intelligence of their content?
Isn’t this an exciting time that we’re in? The AIIM Conference was a terrific experience. I appreciate the opportunity to meet some great thinkers and to hear from some terrific speakers (if you ever have an opportunity to hear David Pogue speak, it’s more than worthwhile). I left the conference both exhausted and energized! I hope the enthusiasm and ispiration are contagious.
To our customers:
The policyIQ team is excited to be a part of this tech-revolution and we’re taking steps to ensure that we’ll continue to bring value to our customers for many years to come. Do you have some ideas that I didn’t mention? We welcome your feedback and additions. Actually, inspired by this ongoing discussion, we’re continuing to brainstorm ways that we can collect your feedback and better engage our customers. Let us know what your wish list looks like! We’re anxious to hear them! Please use the Comment field below or send an email to Support@policyIQ.com.
Special thanks to the presenters and big thinkers who provided great inspiration at the AIIM Conference! Here is a list of those that I followed and that I credit for the inspiration and energy that came back home and to work with me:
|Roland Benedetti||Patrick Lambe||Chris Riley|
|Karthikeyan Chakkarapani||Linda Larrivee||Bert Sandie|
|Michael Chui||John Mancini||Ted Schadler|
|Robin Daniels||Cheryl McKinnon||Joe Shepley|
|Christian Finn||Jacob Morgan||Clay Shirky|
|Phillip Grove||John Newton||Atle Skjekkeland|
|Laurence Hart||Jeffrey Piper||Philip van der Most|
|Dion Hinchcliffe||David Pogue||Ray Wang|
|Nick Inglis||Debra Power||Jesse Wilkins|
|Greg Keifer||Lubor Ptacek||Scott Wirth|