Innovation Management

Welcome to the post-digital world!

27 October 2016


Welcome to the post-digital world!

 Discussion with Marc Giget, Chairman and founder of the Club de Paris des Directeurs de l’Innovation (Innovation Leaders Club of Paris)

What if we were already in the post-digital era? You know, this period when technology is becoming obsolete as we use it. Because essentially, innovation should have no other purpose than improving our everyday lives shouldn’t it?

 Every form of innovation is moving towards an approach focused on people, lives, aspirations and dreams. This is so-called “innovation for a better life”, a very deep-set trend which has come from Asia… but has yet to arrive in France!

As a result, for French people digital innovation is more synonomous with technological tools for well-being, pleasure or practicality.[1] Whilst when the same French people are asked about their expectations for digital innovation, they ask us to make their lives easier, improve relationships between people, or simply to spice up their daily lives. The difference between perception of the service offered by digital innovation and expectations actually expressed by individuals is crystal clear. On the one hand, the vision of innovation leading to technical improvements, on the other, the need for human-centric innovation leading to a better quality life.

So can this discrepancy be corrected? Fundamentally, it is the role of Consulting professions, such as your own, to make life simpler and not only meeting people’s needs, but also their desires! How? We should not simply offer the latest technologies, and the most sophisticated solutions, but offer fair, well-calibrated digital solutions which meet their needs and are reliable and effective. Solutions which fade with use and are “seamlessly” integrated into daily practices.

It is when digital technology is perfectly integrated into the life of users – and it tends to do so by gradually becoming a “commodity” like any other” – that it becomes interesting. This new era, which can be called the “post-digital” is already well underway. It is embodied in the revolution of joint design and auto-design, which a decade ago, led to the design of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which is now the most comfortable airliner.

Designed by doctors for doctors, by musicians for musicians, by farmers for farmers… Users are increasingly present at the heart of the innovation process. They may not be digital experts, but they do know what they need. And wherever they are used, auto-designed products and services have rapidly become market leaders. And what has digital go to do with it? It is a commodity – nothing more, nothing less!

[1] The July 2015 Opinion Way study entitled “French people and digital innovation” revealed that 47% of the panel questioned spontaneously associated digital innovation with tools, whilst 11% associated it with pleasure and well-being.

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