How to define the value of PropTech?
As the industry evolves into PropTech 4.0 with a strong focus on value creation, one valid question is being raised: how can we define value?
The trap technology companies can easily fall into in the midst of all the hype is the focus on tech features instead of the business KPI’s these solutions should be actively contributing to. As Peter Drucker said already decades ago: customers rarely buy what a company thinks it is selling. Companies sell technology, customers buy value.
Another great business thinker of our time, Dr. Clayton Christensen from Harvard University has also brilliantly framed this dilemma in his theory of jobs to be done. According to this theory people have needs that emerge in their lives, and they “hire” products and services to fulfill these needs. While technologies come and go, the jobs to be done persist over time.
Therefore, when it comes to PropTech, it is vital to discover what are the use cases for each organization that would bring business value in the context of their organizational culture and spaces provided. With the current pace of technological development the use cases tend to persist over a longer time span than any individual technology does. We still see many companies approaching the market with RFP’s on indoor positioning systems, workplace solutions and the likes without digging deep into the contextualized WHY.
Stacking a building full of technology does not make it smart. Addressing the jobs to be done for the users of the building with technology and contributing to business KPI’s is the new level of intelligence needed in modern workplaces. On the other hand it is important to remember that even the most advanced workplace technology without user adoption creates no business impact.
In the light of jobs to be done persisting over time it is crucial for workplace technology to have a modular platform approach that grows with the business, such as is seen with the workplace solution Comfy. Consumer grade UI that meets the expectations of users in terms of hyperconnectivity, fluidity and personalization and the customizable modularity of continuously reframing around the jobs to be done within an organization are key for creating value in the workplace – both from an individual perspective and in terms of ROI. The contextualized intelligence in connecting people with spaces and services and continuously learning about preferences of both individuals and the organization as a whole prevents a workplace app deployment from becoming just an app. Instead, it can become a platform to ensure the employee experience of an organization is continuously complemented with technology that adds measurable business value over a longer time span.