February 25, 2019

MWC 2019 Journal, Day 1: Experience, Not Technology, is King

With the proliferation of digital technologies, artificial intelligence and automation, it seems technology can enable new levels of speed, but not at the expense of customer experience.

At Day 1 of Mobile World Congress, one of the biggest takeaways is that the digital ecosystem is transforming the way users interact with technology. Whether it relates to end users and customers or employees and businesses, it seems that the human experience still reigns supreme.

Speed, for example, is often associated with customer experience. Faster websites, better connectivity, quicker onboarding and delivery—it seems like faster is always better. And one technology commonly associated with enabling more agility, especially in today’s digital ecosystem, is automation. In many talks at the show, organizations have been discussing the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to introduce greater levels of automation across systems and operations. Adoption and implementation rates are seemingly increasing. Clearly, decision-makers are recognizing that AI-driven processes can give them speed advantages in competitive markets. But is there a catch?

Interestingly, there has also been some discrepancy at Mobile World Congress in regards to the use of AI, as varying organizations across the private and public sectors are still working on standardizing and defining it. In an IBM-led keynote, pundits emphasized the importance of making AI more human. Meanwhile, others underscored the need to eliminate discrimination concerns by enforcing new, up-to-date rules and regulations that are fully compatible with next-generation tech. In both of these cases, the experience of using technology—either through human engagement or the need to protect users better—trumps the use of the technology itself.

Similarly, a separate Industry 4.0 presentation featuring speakers from Google, BMW, Telefónica, MasterCard and other name brand companies highlighted the use of new technologies to enable a mobile-first approach to digital. The Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) project by Google, for example, is designed to help businesses launch mobile-friendly websites and content that load near instantaneously. Presenters pointed to statistics that highlight how 53 percent of users abandon a website if it takes more than three seconds to load or conversion rates dropping by as much as 20 percent from a one-second delay.

So while technology is an enabler of speed, it seems that organizations are prioritizing experience at the end of the day. As Mobile World Congress marches on, it will be interesting to see even more perspectives on the evolution of technology and its use in an increasingly customer-centric world.


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