What Chief Digital Officers Need to Know About Living Services, with Fjord’s Mark Curtis [VIDEO]

Mark Curtis, Fjord, Chief Digital Officer Summit_ 2015London

Mark Curtis, Chief Client Officer at Fjord, at the 2015 UK CDO Summit

“We believe that digital is on the verge of a new era,” said Mark Curtis, Chief Client Officer at Fjord, during his opening keynote at the 2nd annual UK CDO Summit on Wednesday, October 7th, 2015 at 30 Euston Square in London, England, presented by Accenture Strategy.

According to Curtis, the digitalization of everything will have as drastic an effect on our lives as the internet or mobile has had, the two previous “eras” of digital.

“Things that we’re looking at now will, in 15 years time, look very similar to what early television looks like when you look at it now: slow, boring, and to an extent, laughable,” he proclaimed.

Curtis was one of the founders of Fjord, an innovative design company acquired by Accenture Interactive in 2013.

Currently, Fjord has hundreds of designers developing new systems that will drastically change not only the way we do business, but also the way we live.

Smarter Doors


Mark Curtis: Chief Client Officer at Fjord

So what exactly are living services and what do they do?

One example is the door.

“A door is a pretty stupid thing,” Curtis quipped.

But add a sensor that can interact with a smartphone and also collect data, as Hilton Hotels is doing, and the everyday experience of using a door can lead to something revolutionary.

Hilton will join Starwood and Marriott in letting customers at certain hotels use their smartphone as their room key:

According to Fortune, “The program, which was announced last November, will be available in the first quarter of 2016 to all members of Hilton’s loyalty program who book through the hotel’s mobile app, web site or call centers.”

“They will get notified that their room is ready and then breeze past the front desk while checking in and getting their room and credentials via the mobile app. Once at the room, they can wave their phone in front of the lock and it should open. The app will open doors for 170,000 rooms at 250 U.S. properties within the Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts and Canopy by Hilton brands.”

“Hundreds of thousands of travelers all around the world will be experiencing slightly smarter doors,” Curtis said. “This marks for us an emblematic transition point: things that were previously totally physical are becoming digital.”

Liquid Expectations

These experiences will not be isolated to specific sectors or services, however, but will instead spill over into many facets of a person’s life.

Liquid expectations is the transition from competing with people who are within your sector, to competing with anybody who is creating a better experience than you,” Curtis explained.

Uber’s frictionless payment system is a good example. Uber customers have become accustomed to getting out of the car without having to deal with the hassle of a receipt or getting out their wallet, and will soon expect this of other services.

“A taxi company has totally changed our expectations around payments,” he said. “If you can take things off the ‘thinking list’ of your customers, then they will reward you in terms of loyalty.”


“Living Services: The 3rd Era of Digital Transformation”

Chief Digital Officers Needed

“We’ve got multiple devices, and we’ve got multiple interaction paradigms, including voice, gesture, and location,” Curtis said.

“Just from a purely parochial design perspective, the number of things we’ve got to deal with, the complexity issues have risen massively, which is probably why we have Chief Digital Officers.”

The challenge that necessitates the hiring of strong, c-level digital leaders like CDOs is the sheer complexity living services will create.

“By and large we think these changes will be quite small. It’s the aggregation of all these changes which will be big.”

Take something as simple as an in-flight movie. In a future integrated with living services, flyers will choose their movie on their phone before takeoff, watch a portion of it on their flight, and then immediately resume watching it on their TV when they get home from the point they left off.

But implementing this “simple” customer experience would require overcoming numerous problems involving delivery on multiple channels, content ownership, and customer identity, just to name a few.

“If you think about how we get there, it poses some really awkward questions about who exactly is going to own this, and who is going to deliver it.”

CDO Club members can read the rest of this post, and view the video of the panel below:.....

*The rest of this article is for CDO Club members only*

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