Uber’s Advantage Is Moving Information Not People

Having spent the last 7 weeks immersed in the world of Information Supply Chains I’ve come to the conclusion that I’ve been looking at IT challenges in the wrong way.

I now find it incredible how easily the conversation about IT’s role in digital transformation seems to focus on the “technology” and not the “information”.

Don’t get me wrong, I love a good bit of life changing technology as much as the next person and I have no doubt technological innovation will continue to change the way live, work and play forever. However, knowing what I know now, it’s apparent the most compelling of new technologies move information from source input to valuable asset in really smart ways.

Take Uber for example – they seem to be everyone’s vogue digital exemplar right now and for good reason; Uber has changed the way millions of people think about catching a cab.  Simply put, Uber use technology to match people who need rides with people who can take them somewhere.

Uber have overhauled the Information Supply Chains needed to catch a cab.

They’ve taken several pieces of source information (client details, current location, final destination and payment details) and used it to deliver an outcome (a payed up client delivered in comfort) in a way more effective and efficient than the traditional cab.  The effectiveness and efficiency gains delivered by managing the Information Supply Chain allow Uber to pass pricing benefit to their clients’ and deliver clear competitive advantage.

In the (recent) old world, ordering a cab was a time consuming, multi-step process for all involved (especially if you were not in your home town and dealing with your favourite cab company).  I’ve modeled the Information Supply Chain and estimate going from source information (client details, current location, destination and payment) to happy client required at least 10 pieces of derived information, 9 distinct actions, 5 different systems (used 8 times) and people were involved 9 times throughout the process.

Compare that to Uber – 4 Pieces of information, 3 actions, 1 system (used 3 times) and people were involved twice.

So, if you’re looking for the next great innovative tech to change your business or disrupt your industry, it may be worth understanding how information flows.  We have a platform that can help.