If you don’t get the user experience right, your enterprise technology will fail

Smart enterprises deploy technologies with purpose; otherwise they’re frittering away money and valuable IT resources. And the purpose of any enterprise technology roll-out, ultimately, must be to serve the goals of the business.

This can be accomplished in a number of ways. Enterprises today are using digital technologies such as mobile apps, collaboration software, cloud computing and analytics to:

  • Increase revenue
  • Make employees happier and more productive
  • Improve customer satisfaction and brand image
  • Reduce operating expenses
  • Gain a competitive edge

But an enterprise’s hopes and dreams that a technology deployment will transform the business can be cruelly dashed if IT designers and developers botch a critical job: Ensuring that the tool in question — whether it’s a mobile app for customers or field workers, team project software, an analytics dashboard, etc. — is user-friendly.

Writing about the need for effective workplace communications technology, No Jitter contributor Michael Affronti argues that enterprise employees desire workplace technology which mirrors “the experiences they’ve become accustomed to within their consumer lives.”

“People want choices for how they communicate and engage with their teammates,” Affronti argues. “They want their employers to understand the value these tools can bring to fostering workplace culture and job satisfaction.”

It’s more than what employees merely want, though, as Affronti later affirms:

“Standing between a unified communications investment and the adoption of that investment is an intuitive user experience. It’s simply non-negotiable today; enterprises need solutions with a design and interface that gets work ‘working’ again.”

Simply non-negotiable, indeed. Today’s workforce is more tech-savvy than ever. Millennial workers in particular have lifelong experience with digital technology, resulting in strong preferences, high expectations and low tolerance for inadequate workplace tools. If an app or a piece of collaboration software fails to meet their needs, they’ll stop using it. And there goes your investment in dollars and development time.

To avoid this lamentable fate, enterprises should adopt a “user first” strategy that focuses on ensuring that an interface is intuitive and functional. This is best accomplished by gathering user input in the early design phase and conducting thorough testing throughout the development process.

By devoting time to optimizing the user experience, enterprises can develop tools that work for employees (and customers) — which eventually will translate into achieving the goals of the business.

RELATED LINKS

Enterprise mobility: Ignore the true TCO at your peril

The high cost of gaps in enterprise mobility

Too many enterprises still not doing mobile apps right

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