The humble use case

Use case = How a user interacts with a product to achieve a specific goal

Being a tech investor I think about emerging technology all the time. I also get asked about the ‘next big thing’ on a regular basis. We all want to have a point of view about what happens next and the extraordinary potential of new technologies.

But I believe the more relevant question focuses on the use case. For me, as an investor focused on the enterprise market, I believe the strategic cornerstones of any business are as follows:

Customers — reach, retain & grow

Productivity — do more for less

People — the right people in the right places

Security — managing & minimizing risk

If you’re managing and improving each of these areas then your business will be successful. To what degree comes down to things like business model and market size but they will dictate the scale of the success.

So it stands to reason that the most important thing about an enterprise IT product is that it has a material and measurable impact on at least one of these areas. Ideally I want to hear from the person within the business who is responsible for one of these areas that the product is driving material improvement and that they have the data to back it up.

When I get asked about emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, virtual reality or the Internet of Things, I try to relate it back to use case. However exciting a new technology might be, it has to have a clear and present use case. In the enterprise world it needs to be an enabler of making a business more successful.

It sounds simple but in all the excitement it’s amazing how often this gets overlooked.

Like what you read? Give Jos White a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.