Take a look at your desk right now. Is everything you need within reach? Is your computer monitor at the right level for your eyes? Can you easily find everything you need for your best performance in your work? If yes, you have achieved frictionless flow in your personal workspace.
The same must become true for your enterprise - to become frictionless.
Let’s consider the definition of frictionless based on its opposite - friction. To have friction means resistance caused by rubbing of parts or conflict between elements in a system. On your desk, that might mean piles of files, sitting too far away from tools you might need (stapler, printer, etc.) or a computer screen that has glare from a window behind you.
In a digital enterprise, friction looks like interrupted workflow, piecemeal customer profiles, redundant internal processes, silos, fragmented martech stack, slow deployment and, basically, anything that slows your response to your customer.
By contrast, frictionless means streamlined, effortless and smooth operations. In a digital enterprise, a short description of what this looks like is the ability to deliver a unified, omni-channel and, ideally, extraordinary customer experience.
Frictionless enterprise means going beyond merely digitizing internal operations as they currently exist to eliminating all institutionalized friction, both internal (employees, teams rooted in habit, etc.) and external (customers, suppliers, partners, etc.).
In the past, friction was caused by time, distance and lack of information; technology has resolved that friction.
To become frictionless today means disrupting the status quo, eliminating what exists ‘because it’s the way it’s always been done’, fostering a corporate culture that is aligned with customer-centric focus and core values, and possibly even redefining business models to adapt to the changing marketplace.
Fortunately, this can all be facilitated with being fit to withstand the rigors of transformation, an innovative and open mindset, strategic thinking and planning, and, lastly, the right technology.
To get a deeper perspective on frictionless enterprise, please see: Frictionless Enterprise: The Goal of Digital Transformation.