I learnt a new word recently, prosumption. It means the consumption of something by the person who also produced it. Toffler’s concept has morphed further, you and are I are bedevilled by prosumption these days. When you go to Woolies or Coles you queue up to scan your own groceries.That’s prosumption. When you check-in for your flight online and print your own boarding pass, that’s prosumption. When you book a ticket to a show or movie and then print it yourself, that’s prosumption. When you want to change your contract or package with your phone and broadband provider you go online and do it yourself, that’s prosumption.
Where we used to pay the going rate for services to have someone else do things for us, we are now paying the same rate (or more in the case of online tickets) and doing the work ourselves. That’s prosumption. That’s the future. Welcome aboard.
Smart companies are realising that prosumption is also a solution to their business operations these days. Business applications like ERP and CRM have saturated our workplaces over the years. They are complex and complicated systems that demand heavy design and implementation projects by specialised and highly paid consultants. And mostly they are like liquid cement; you can bend and twist them around early on to make them reflect your business processes but once set in place they are very difficult to change and evolve. Also, you can’t do it yourself, you need to get those consultants back in for another bite of the cherry.
Modern applications have emerged that now truly enable the business people in your company to create complex, robust and compliant process-driven applications and to comfortably take on the ownership and evolution of these themselves. They can design forms, define business rules, and execute tasks in an auditable and compliant nature without having a programming or technical background. No more dependency on, and delay from, scarce IT resources. No more reliance on costly external consultants. Just business application prosumption ;systems of control created and managed by the people who use them.
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