Do you think about the time before Google, before Twitter or Angry Birds? I think about it when I try to reason with my kids about the amount of apps they love to download on my devices.
It is fascinating how technology has changed how we live, and equally fascinating to witness the changes in behaviour in our children. ‘Are we there yet?’ is now replaced by ‘12 more miles, 5 more miles.’ Technology has given us the world at our fingers tips.
None of us can imagine living without the Internet or our mobile devices and tablets. And if you can think of an idea, there’s no question you can find an app for it. One could argue that there simply are too many options, too much information. But as per my previous post, the solution lies within each of us to manage our time and find ways to disconnect. There is no point in arguing that certain technological advancements do in fact make our lives much more comfortable.
I see that in my everyday life. I have a natural interest in technology and have greatly benefited from a select few apps. Great apps, as with anything, always come recommended, or at times, by stumbling upon some my children download – one in particular ‘Hit the Apple’ has been quite useful and fun!
ProPrompter is one of my favourites. I use this app on my iPad as a smooth scrolling professional teleprompter, which is wonderful considering I’m not a fan of paper. It is also simple, and very easy to use and makes speech deliveries much more efficient.
Starbucks has a very interesting app. Not only does it have a beautiful interface, but also the richness of the experience has changed my behaviour towards coffee. The menus, rewards and store locations keep me engaged and the ability to use my phone to pay for coffee – without a fee – is brilliant.
TeamSnap gives my wife and I on-the-go access to team calendars, coaches’ numbers, team scores and pictures as we plan our kids’ sports events. This app has kept us sane.
I am particularly fond of the ING DIRECT app. It has come in handy on numerous occasions – most recently when I forgot my wallet while out for dinner with friends, the app allowed me to instantly send an email money transfer from my iPhone to cover my portion of the bill. With a great interface and simple user experience, there’s no doubt I am exceptionally proud of the nearly 3000 downloads we experience per week.
Twitter and Hootsuite are my go-to social media apps. They are a great source of information and connection that I experience daily. Hootsuite is very useful for scheduling my tweets when I travel and Twitter’s simple interface gives me quick access to a select list of topics I am interested in.
Our habits and expectations have changed dramatically and the boundaries between online and offline are disappearing. We depend on a range of devices to keep ourselves connected to friends, colleagues and information in different ways. The reality is that we are experiencing a technology revolution. It’s really exciting to be part of this change, and certainly for us at ING DIRECT, as our culture allows us to experiment, learn and adapt rapidly.
Using technology to help Canadians live better lives is a key driver for our business. If we can inspire them to spend less, save more time and show them there is a different way to do banking, then our team would have accomplished a lot. Our challenge sometimes is that we have more ideas than we can implement. And our CIO will tell you that our focus is not so much on specific technologies. Instead, we often ask ourselves how do we provide value for consumers? How do we meet their needs? How do we keep things simple? We focus on two areas relentlessly – context and simplicity. Because it’s not about a transaction, it’s about the experience. Whether you’re using an app, the website or visiting an ING DIRECT café.
It’s fascinating to witness this rapid change to our way of life. Technology will be a key driver as businesses prepare for the future. This change can have a very positive impact on the corporate world if businesses act quickly and appropriately – keeping in mind that consumers’ mindsets have changed and their voice is stronger than it’s ever been.