Business, Design, Technology

It should be about the impact, not the looks

February 11, 2016

Read time 4 min

For a long time, digital services have been judged by their looks – not by their impact. Along with many other companies, we wanted the change that. This is how the Blue Arrow was born, writes Elina Koskela.

Digitalization has hit many industries hard, creating a tremendous demand for digital services of the highest quality. Although the level of services are improving, they are not being assessed by the impact that they actually generate.

As a digital service company we felt that this should change. After all, services shouldn’t ‘just exist’. Instead, they should have a clear effect on customers, businesses and everyday life.

About ten months ago we met with colleagues from other IT companies. Happily, we all agreed that things should change.

We agreed that we would join our efforts to create a new breed of competition, discussing what we wanted to achieve before formulating our ideas into a manifesto. Ten months later, we are still working towards that common goal – except the talking has begun to take some real action.

Now to an important question: How do we define impact?

We’ve decided to approach impact through seven aspects, which also serve as the main judging categories of the Blue Arrow Awards. We believe that they not only cover the most important aspects of impact, but also give the right tools to assess services of the future in a more comprehensive manner.

Societal Influence award – Service for the most impact on society

Like the topic suggests, this award wants to give glory to services that have had a positive impact on society. We are looking for services that have eased the lives of you and I. Digitalized services free us from fixed opening hours and give flexibility through their functionality, but are there services that have managed to take the services off paper to a digital realm?

Customer Experience award – Digital service that customers love

We are looking for services that are so smooth to use, the customer does not notice that some effort was required by them. And we don’t want to limit the award to a digital perspective, but will also access the service from a holistic mindset. For us, the user experience is marked from the first tap to the very last swipe.

Robust Code award – Service for cutting edge software engineering

Service that is pure gold under the surface. Maintainable, extendable, scalable and code so readable any coder could take over. We hope to see code that is easy to maintain, and the upkeep is just a couple of clicks. Most of all, it should aim to solve some interesting problems that make a direct impact to business.

Propellerhead award – Award for personal impact on the industry

We need innovation, new ideas and sometimes shocks to get our industry to move forward. To encourage this brave behavior, we introduce the propellerhead category – an award for personal or collective impact on the industry.

We award this prize to a person or a team who has created something that benefits us all, such as a new way of working or raised important issue to general awareness.

Disruption award – Award for a digital solution that transformed the industry

This award goes to a team or organisation that has been able to shake up entire markets. That created something revolutionary to change the way consumers behave, and they way business is achieved in a fresh way. We believe that digitalization can – and should change the way users are served.

Best performing team award – Award for a functional team and a flourishing work culture

In the digital era, the success of a project and service depends on the team behind-the-scenes. We want to raise awareness on what makes a great team, and great performance. We are looking for teams continuously improving their ways of working, to inspire the organizations around them to also thrive.

Epic purchase – Award for navigating the pitfalls of project purchasing

Buying digital services differ from buying off-the-shelf products. Every service is unique, trying to serve it’s customers in the best way possible. Every time projects are purchased, the negotiations often revolve around the subject of finding something unique.

We would be ecstatic to see the competition raise the level of digital services. To do this, we need help in collecting great entries. We will share the best learnings at the gala and the winners will get a chance to tell their story. Do you happen to know one?

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