The Five Big Killers of the TEC Industry
March 1, 2021 12:12 pm
Steve Gates, MD at Taking Care urges us to pause, take a step back and consider a longer-term view of TEC; he asks what could replace us in 50 years’ time and replace our heritage of work? Should we be listening more closely to needs of the customer and commissioners to avoid becoming irrelevant?
Lisa Bodell, author of “Kill the Company: End the Status Quo, Start an Innovation Revolution”, wrote at length about the importance of identifying the competitor traits that would decimate your organisation, and addressing them yourself (before someone else does!)
Microsoft CEO describes it this way; “Longevity in this business is about being able to reinvent yourself or reinvent the future.”
Jeff Bezos/Amazon call it their “Day 1” approach – and have built into their company culture a focus on maintaining a long-term focus, obsessing over customers, and bold innovation.
So, how often do we ever step back and truly think about where we need to go – either as technology enabled care (TEC) providers and organisations or as an industry itself and ask what could replace us and lead to the 50 years of glorious heritage that we have behind us becoming nothing more than a footnote in the future? Can we say that we truly understand our customer’s requirements, be those customers the commissioners of care or the end customer, the Loved One who relies on our services to stay safe and protected?
To provide a stimulus to some longer term thinking in this area Taking Care has embarked on a programme of consumer research, which will be presented in full at the ITEC Virtual Conference in March.
We’ve sought to understand what potential customer’s views of TEC are and how it can help them stay in their own homes – even amongst the younger generations, as they will inevitably become our prospective customers of the future. We’ve sought to understand the value that they place on staying in their own home (rather than focusing on the “cost” of support or devices) and what they see as the key barriers to using TEC when their life stage means that it is a genuine possibility.
We recognise that TEC exists within a complex web of commissioners, providers and manufacturers, however at the heart of everything we do we need to consider the customer and their requirements. And how can we do that effectively as an industry if we don’t know what these needs actually are? How can we adapt our service and our offerings to change over time and meet new needs that the current generation of customers haven’t even considered? How can we effectively plot a way forward if we don’t understand the risks our business and industry is facing?
It’s been a fascinating journey for Taking Care in launching our first consumer “connected home offering” to the market in February. We’ve had to consider a whole range of new issues – such as how long is it OK for someone to be in a bathroom before we should be worried enough to raise an alert to the alarm receiving centre (the average bath time for the over 50s is 17 minutes, since you ask…), how do we protect the dignity and privacy of a loved one while also allowing their family to understand any changes in their daily patterns of life that are important? And how do we effectively ensure that the data collected about a loved one is maintained, stored and analysed in the best possible way? All of these are questions that we didn’t need to consider even five years ago, however technology will continue its relentless march and as a TEC industry we need to be the drivers of innovation if we are going to survive and prosper into the future.
So let us grab hold of innovation, put our arms around our customers and ensure that we are in control of our own destiny.
As General Eric Shinseki famously said, “If you don’t like change you’ll like irrelevance even less”.