Prior to the pandemic, digital was on a roll. Many including this author heralded the arrival of the “age of the customer” and “data is the new oil” was a slide on every executive presentation around the world. Fast forward a few years and the “pandemic that keeps on giving” is now being blamed for a revised 2022 global growth forecast due to global supply chain disruptions. Is this a bad thing?
The power of digital technology was – and is – breathtaking. The possibilities of a new era of personalization; customer, employee and other user experience; and predictive analytics were endless. But the relentless focus on user experience has exacted a heavy price as well – an erosion of human patience, an overall reduction in our collective happiness (although admittedly there’s a lot to unpack here), and a mockable world where everyone is ready to whip out a cellphone to record the next “Karen meme” to go viral. We felt entitled to have our needs met “on demand” and the world complied.
Like many I have relied on a well-known food delivery service to help feed my family during the pandemic; recently I received an order that was completely wrong (a cosmic apology to “Richard”, who likely received a bag full of animal protein instead of the vegetarian order he placed). I noticed this happened a lot with this service, so I checked my order history and roughly 1/3 orders placed over the past 1.5 years had something wrong. Exhausted and hangry, I logged in to get my refund processed yet again. After getting everything resolved, I reflected on how quickly I was to let my temper escalate. Shouldn’t we appreciate how major industries like quick service restaurants were able to pivot to completely new business models during the pandemic and succeed powered by digital technology to help keep the world fed while dining rooms were closed? Would it be a bad thing for us to re-learn a little more patience and forgiveness for error? If predictions on global supply chain disruption in 2022 are correct, we’re all going to need to…but don’t be surprised if the digital train gets rolling sooner rather than later after our expectations are reset.
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About Joo Serk Lee
Joo Serk Lee is a Vice President in Sogeti USA and serves as Sogeti USA’s Digital Transformation service line leader. He in an Enterprise Architect by trade and has spent much of his 15 year career partnering with clients to craft major digital and technology transformation programs in sectors including Marketing and Insurance.
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