Much has been made about the rise of new media devices and what’s being dubbed “The Post PC Era.” Indeed, tablets, smartphones, feature phones (in developing areas) and other devices such as e-readers and GPS enabled navigation, are changing the way that we interact with the world. But is that really what’s most interesting about the shift that’s happening right now? Simply put, no.
This week, Boston Consulting Group (BCG) published a very timely piece aptly titled, The Post PC Era. While it delves into some of the aforementioned device changes, it also highlights the more impactful revolution in progress, the Growth of the Ecosystem. A quote from Stephen Elop, Nokia’s president and CEO, sums things up nicely:
“Our competitors aren’t taking market share with devices; they are taking market share with an entire ecosystem.”
It would seem the the device, be it tablet, smartphone or otherwise, is simply a means to an end. BCG highlights several inflection points that will influence how the ecosystem battles may play out, many of which hit on areas near and dear to Intuit. Below are the three most critical of these ‘buckets’, with some Intuit perspective included:
- The Consumer Experience: Meeting customers at their point of need, be it a tablet, smartphone or otherwise, will be key to building a winning ecosystem. Ensuring the ”App” and first use experience are delightful will also weigh heavily in this category. One item BCG does not touch on, is the need for applications within a given ecosystem to be easily discoverablefor end users. Many an app store has become cluttered and difficult to navigate. Intuit’s new partnership with Verizon touches on all aspects of this category and is a good example of making sure we position our apps (in this case) GoPayment in places that make then easily discoverable.
- Developers Perspective & Economics: While BCG breaks these two out separately, from Intuit’s perspective they are tied. Developers want to join development ecosystems that allow them to write apps simply and market them easily. Intuit couldn’t agree more, which is why we launched Intuit Anywhere and the Intuit Partner Platform IPP.) Also worth noting, this ecosystem is open, another critical aspect developers look for.
- New Markets: The feature phone is by no means dead. Developing markets offer an opportunity for new kinds of ecosystems tied to the capabilities found on more simple handsets. Intuit’s Global Division has, and continues to work toward developing simple applications best suited to these audiences.
Underscoring all of this is one constant, change. As BCG points out companies like Intuit will need to continually evolve business models, partnerships and offerings in order to keep their ecosystems competitive and attractive to end users and potential partners. Suffice to say, the conversation has moved beyond devices to one of experience and accessibility across ecosystems.