The best way to measure complexity is to measure use. Given a choice, the harder something is to use the less people will use it. 

Recently, I watched a young sound engineer try to do something with a drum sampling program. He hadn’t used it before. He blitzed around the screen, shrugging and moaning, as he couldn’t get it to do what he wanted. “I’ll get back to it later,” he said, and moved onto something else. He had spent maybe a minute, certainly no more than two, reviewing and judging this app.

“Approximately 60 percent of IT professionals and decision makers would make more use of cloud services, but the complexity they perceive around enabling and integrating those workloads with legacy systems holds them back.” This is according to a survey of 1,200 IT professionals carried out by CDN that was published in February 2015.

Most organizations don’t measure use, so therefore they don’t measure complexity. We badly need a whole new set of metrics focused on complexity because complexity is becoming a bigger and bigger factor in getting and keeping customers, and in getting and keeping employees. To measure complexity, you measure the customer outcome. You identify a customer top task and you measure the customer's ability to complete that task quickly and easily. Measuring outcomes is the way the world is going.

As the Technology Services Industry Association (TSIA) puts it: “Technology companies may soon find that a significant percentage of revenue will come from service subscriptions, service transactions, or be tied to customer outcomes.”

One of the most basic outcomes is purchase or repeat purchase. However, the TSIA has found that, “Even though 94 percent of service organizations have access to purchase data, 50 percent of these organizations do not leverage this data to improve services.” A “shocking result” according to the TSIA, but not surprising.

The Web is a customer outcome metric paradise. Before the Web it was extremely difficult to measure how a customer was using something. Because customer use was so difficult to measure, many organizations felt it was simply not something that could ever be measured. But the Web has changed the whole metrics landscape.

The Web is a giant ecosystem of human outcomes. Why do we search? In order to find. What happens when we find? We do. We find so as to do. Big Data is a giant and growing collection of information on stuff people do. The Web is like the human brain on view.

This is both exciting and scary. For example, how many writers that you know have ever seen someone else read what they have written? How many have seen what the reader does as a result of reading the writer’s content?

In so many disciplines, the producer of the thing is disconnected from the consumer of the thing. The Web is a network that connects producers and consumers. Now that is a real revolution in the making. Now we’re talking about real digital transformation.