The humble car park. It is difficult to believe that this is the frontline on the identification of digital failures and the need for Digital Devil’s Advocates – see – http://wp.me/p15cZf-ek . The humble piece of real estate that is the car park has become a clear example of how digital will fail when new technology or initiatives are locked on to legacy processes. This was clearly seen with the Westfield example – http://wp.me/p15cZf-dy. Note that the media finally caught up to capioIT with their breathless “exclusive” on the parking issue that only came out 3 months after we had first identified the issue.
Of course, Westfield is not the only parking issue, the rise of GoGet, ZipCar, Car2Go et al highlights how inflexible current frameworks can be in a digital world and how a new regime of thought and process and investment is essential.
As the photo highlights many car parks only allow one arrival per day for free parking periods. With photographic identification of license plates it is possible to know if a car enters and remains in the parking station. If you have two hours free parking in the pre digital time, you could remain for for 1 hr. 59 minutes, and then exit, only to return again to maximize free parking times.
Now the parking manager is now able to charge after the first two hours regardless of re-entry. I know this has caught me out. They do this because the model works for their limited thinking, car-parking revenue is increased, and car parks turnover. So far so good.
The rise of the shared car rental is anathema to this inflexible thinking and old school technology. An individual may have a share car for 2 hours to go shopping then return it. Someone else may take the same car and also do their shopping in the centre. They may find that they are charged for car park usage the moment they enter, getting a massive bill shock if they choose the wrong car park. Car sharing technologies tend to be local in nature, and often in high-density areas. This only amplifies the issue.
The irony is that the lowest technology car park, that is on street parking usually provided by local government has been able to find a cost effective and low-tech solution to the problem that remembers the customer experience. They use a tin of spray paint to maximize the customer experience.
Simply car park managers have clearly not caught up with the car sharing technology and consumer behavior. Unsurprisingly users are going to be unnecessarily punished as a result.
Yet again this example highlights the point that capioIT regularly is an evangelist for, and increasing consulting around for clients.
Digital is more than a technology play.
- The customer experience has to be front and centre of the outcome.
- When the customer isn’t central, digital fails, whether it is online insurance, car parking or attending a sporting event.
- There is no compromise, or wriggle room, digital investments have to be more than technology.
Digital is hard. Digital failure is easy. Disruption and Digital are clichéd, but there is a valid reason. This is so true when Digital becomes just a technology solution leveraging legacy. If you, your organization, or stakeholders rely on old technology and processes to become digital then you are significantly increasing the expectation of failure. Get the Digital Devil’s Advocate to ensure that you have the correct durable platform, not an investment that is on track to fail.