IT Trend #10

10.Simplicity

What is it?
A trend that’s sweeping through the technology industry is simplicity. Many products are over-engineered and feature a myriad of functions, 90%+ of which people never use. A survey by the Consumer Electronics Association in the US found that 87% of people cited ease of use as the most important feature of any new technology product. Another survey find that a substantial percentage of products returned to a retailers as ‘faulty’ were in fact in perfect working order — it was just that they were so complicated that users couldn’t figure them out.

Opportunities:
Making things (including companies) as simple as possible. For example, Philips has simplified itself by reducing the number of businesses it runs from 500 to 70 and has similarly reduced the number of divisions to 5 from 50.
Products, product ranges and pricing can be made less complicated and so too can the language that is used in external and internal communications.

Risks:
Populations are ageing and so the demand for easy to understand and simple to use products should accelerate in the future. Companies that do not offer simplified products will find that customers will shift their loyalty and allegiance to companies that do.

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