In the context of Exponential Organizations (ExOs), interfaces are one of the key attributes that serve as a bridge between the outside and inside of an organization, filtering and matching external data using algorithms and automated workflows. They allow organizations to make sense of the abundance of external data, translating it into useful information that can be acted upon. Through interfaces, organizations can connect external drivers of exponential growth with relevant internal processes, automating workflows and directing actionable input to appropriate areas of the business for action. The design and optimization of interfaces has become an industry of its own, as a key moment in determining whether a new technology goes mainstream or remains on the fringes.
There are three main types of interfaces – user, system, and hardware. User interfaces help users interact with the solution an organization provides, and its success is determined by how well it works for those using it. System interfaces help organizations interact with computer systems of other organizations, or help different parts of an organization interact with each other. Hardware interfaces enable interactions with pieces of hardware, playing a crucial role in our transition to a more digitized society.
The interface attribute plays an important role in translating the abundance of information and data on the outside of an organization into manageable information flows that can be further processed and utilized inside an organization. Filtering and matching are two ways this can be achieved, allowing interfaces to effectively serve as a bridge between an organization’s external growth drivers and internal stabilizing factors. To implement interfaces in an organization, it is essential to identify the sources of abundance, figure out what systems to connect to and communicate with, understand the data passing through the interface, and design an effective user interface.