Why It’s Time to Prioritize UX in Your Enterprise Applications
There’s a vast amount of complexity in organizations today, especially concerning their information technology (IT). The longer the organization has been in business, the harder it becomes to operate efficiently. This is typically due to legacy systems, ones that were built and implemented decades ago—before the era of mobile and consumer applications. These systems are outdated and often hinder the growth and productivity of an organization.
With the aim of increasing productivity, organizations have invested trillions of dollars in business applications over the last 25 years. Despite the investments, many screens and workflows weren’t built with user experience as a top priority. As a result, they are so complex that employees become easily frustrated and overall morale in the workplace goes down.
Employees and users now have higher expectations when it comes to enterprise applications. They spend hours on their smartphones and can easily navigate through the plethora of applications on those devices. Why can’t they do the same at work?
Industry experts refer to this trend as ‘the consumerization of IT’; where consumer technology is setting new standards for enterprise technology. Simply put, there is a greater focus on software applications that are easy to navigate and make people’s jobs easier to do. Organizations looking to revitalize their enterprise software should pay particular attention to essential user experience areas in order to develop or adopt applications that will engage users and ultimately increase efficiency and productivity.
Learn From the Consumer Space
The most successful providers of SaaS enterprise software, such as Salesforce and Workday, have achieved success because of their consumer-like applications. These platforms continuously demonstrate that enterprise technology doesn’t need to be “dumbed-down” in order to be consumer friendly. These companies are delivering robust solutions with a great user experience that can easily be integrated with other systems, are mobile-friendly, utilize the cloud, and have intuitively designed user interfaces.
Today’s business users want to be as engaged at work as they are on their devices when they leave work. Organizations looking to gain from the consumerization trend should take notes from industry leaders like these and put their focus on providing a great user experience. They’ve observed some of the world’s most popular apps like Facebook and LinkedIn and have developed their software accordingly.
Consumers are accessing more content from their mobile devices than they are from their desktops. Going mobile should be one of your top priorities. According to Shopify.com, over 50 percent of all e-commerce traffic comes from mobile devices. Considering consumers’ mobile mentality, enterprises must adapt in order to remain competitive within their industries. Having a great mobile user experience is critical for success.
The Pew Research Center reports that over two-thirds of Americans are smartphone owners, using the devices often as main entry points into the online world. If you don’t already have a mobile strategy, you need one now. Whenever you decide to take on a new enterprise software project, keep your end user in mind to ensure that they’ll be able to navigate your software as seamlessly as they navigate their mobile device software.
Look to the Cloud
Many organizations today are turning to Software as a Service (SaaS) and other cloud-based computing solutions to deliver an excellent user experience. With the increased use of smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices, development teams are building applications that are hosted in the cloud and accessible from almost any device. By building a cloud-based web app, the data from the application can be saved to a cloud drive. These applications can avoid placing large data loads on mobile devices. If an employee were to leave their laptop or iPad at home, they would still be able to access important content. In addition, your business can scale up or down your storage and operation needs quickly to suit your situation—allowing flexibility as your needs change. Using the cloud gives you more time to focus on running your business. Having your data stored in the cloud ensures that it is backed up and in a secure location.
To remain productive and efficient, it’s important for organizations to consider investing in user-friendly enterprise applications. Delivering a great user experience can make all the difference for users and can truly transform how your enterprise is run. This is true when purchasing commercial software or developing your own custom solution.
Custom enterprise solutions can deliver your organization’s users the ultimate user experience since it is designed specifically for your organization. Users will enjoy working with software that is as easy to navigate and use as those they have on their mobile devices and it directly aligned with the organization’s business processes. All things considered, your organization can excel by developing enterprise software that increases engagement from employees and boosts overall organization efficiency and productivity.
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