My Beef With ‘Self-Service’

A quick micro-rant on 90’s IT terminology

In my humble opinion, this word needs to be consigned to the same bin as ‘portal’. Both seem to be a regular feature of the public and social sector.

My main bone of contention is that self-service speaks to a time where largely physical organisations bolted digital bits on to the edges to enable people to ‘self-serve’. What we should be striving for are largely digital organisational models with physical bits at the edges where needed.

One of the characteristics of a digital business model is that everything that happens creates data. That means being able to measure and report upon spending, service delivery etc. is that much easier.

For as long as we dance around automating some core functions and keep pushing ‘self-service’ to the fringes for customers, we’re going to keep struggling to really leverage the technology we’ve got and the data it inherently creates.

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