Consumerisation of Business Software

Business software is the core of revolution and development in any organization around the world. Digital Transformation initiatives are at a record high (think Y2K all over again) and the opportunity to rethink and leverage business software like never before is now. Before the year 2000, most of the software applications used in big companies were just stuck. Though the software was rich in various features, only a few users and the developers knew how to use it. Because of this, much business software has gotten a bad rap inside organizations with employees, managers and executives. Why you ask, IT WAS NEVER DEVELOPED WITH THEM IN MIND? Conversely, in the past few years, enterprises are capitalizing on the customization of business software as vendors and business realize that in order to eve get data to take advantage of tools like AI, Bots and Prescriptive Analytics, we must get the data from the workforce.

To watch a great video of Bill Kutik and myself talking about this click here —

Software companies have been redefining the user experience to enhance technology outlook to resemble consumer applications more and more in the last 5 years specifically and should be a key criteria in deciding what software solutions to purchase.. The software developers, therefore, are investing in creating software that is more user-friendly, intuitive and able to cater for users’ changing needs.

The reason that employees and managers use business software today requires that the tools add EV “Extreme Value”. In a world where there is so much noise and distraction with content and “apps”, our job is to deliver EV to the workforce.

Organizations are looking for the following factors in enterprise software (to name a few)

Optimization on sharing information

Enterprise software developers should develop applications with features that enable and allow employees to share and manage data. Hence, they should invent software with clear management dashboard, increased collaboration and tracking capabilities around institutional data. Enterprise software should measure and benchmark improvements in efficiency and focus on ROI. Organizations should capitalize on tools that allow the users to benefit from someone else’s experience. Such tools will be useful in leveraging customer support and other people’s knowledge. The higher the EV, the better change the tools are used.

Collaborative enterprise tools

Various jobs call for teamwork but are turning extremely difficult by the increase of remote workforce. Hence, developers try to streamline workflows for the various teams. Business software should have features that allow multiple users to access different files from anywhere. A step further is having software that is user-friendly and allows collaborating on a network (other than a traditional org-chart) that enables theme share tasks, documents and other business information. Software that allows an organization to leverage data in real-time will result in effective performance management and helps the company remain competitive. By embedding collaboration and data into the TEAMS that people work on and not where they sit in the org chart, the EV ratio skyrockets.

Customer-facing system

Business software should not have employees systems that have different standards from the customer-facing systems. The various systems result in a sophisticated interface, long waits and customer service representatives who in different occasions cannot synchronize their applications with that of the customer. Consumerization of business software for employees will require a system that can work both internally and externally. This will reduce consumer barriers and friction points. People are leaving organizations because they cant get things done. Customers stop doing business with organizations where they cant get things done. It is the same. It is time to pay as much attention to the workforce experience as the customer experience and treat them as equals.

Today, employees are enhancing on bringing your device to the workplace; this is a sign that business software is too complicated with too many tedious features. The developers of the system need to mimic the simple steps and come up with easy-to-use tools. It’s all about the consumerization of technology; no one needs, wants or will accept an ugly tool all day at work.

Well-designed products

Various enterprise software startups have invested heavily in well-designed tools (for the digital economy we live in today). This, as a result, will incredibly improve the customization of enterprise software. The software interface is designed to improve productivity and quality delivery. Sales and marketing teams are practically moving from desktops to mobile first and only strategies. Hence, enterprise software is expected to design tools that are compatible with such devices. Touch should be incorporated in every product and should be elastic enough to accommodate mobile devices as well.

Amazingly, startup software companies are investing in interfaces that are user-friendly and functionality-sufficient more than publicly traded enterprise companies who often have functioning tools but are poorly designed and complicated to use. A big reason for this is underlying architecture and getting customers to move from a user interface to a user experience mindset. Better “experiences” are enhancing consumerization of enterprise software and allow the user to displace entrenched competitors.

Corporate managers have a responsibility to procure software based on their direct needs. As enterprise software companies continue to dictate the world, the user of the business software expects great, similarly aligned products and tools to enhance workflow and productivity in the organizations. Users expect tools that are desirable, fun and easy to use, just as they experience in everyday life as a consumer. If you dont like an app you download from an app store, you delete it; you never go back. If your users don’t like or abandon use of an enterprise software solution, the resources invested to deploy that solution usually are written off as a huge waste of time and energy continuing to give our space a bad name.

The time is now to stop talking user interface but talk user experience. The time is now to think of your workforce as customers and put the time, effort and resource towards giving them the experiences they expect in todays digital world. Finally, the time is now for HR to realize that they need the workforce equally if not more than the workforce needs HR. For HR to be a strategic function, we need to have data and the way to get data in todays world is direct from the workforce.

Engage them, show them EV (Extreme Value) and it is a guarantee that your long term success as a function will be tremendously better off than in the last 4 decades of using a lift and shift mentality to deploy software.

Once again, watch the video

Another infusion of knowledge and a LEAP forward…

#consumerization #hrtechnology #hcm #software #erp #business #cxo