“Traditional enterprise software has a negative reputation for being poorly designed and difficult to use. Although vendors have long been aware of this problem, few genuine solutions have emerged over the years.”
As the “consumerization of IT” trend continues, today’s IT workers have learned to demand modern usability and ease of use. Traditional software vendors are aware of the fact that many of their products suffer from usability issues caused by a user interface that was common a decade ago. As today’s workers become used to modern tools such as Facebook, Twitter, and Gmail, they expect to find similar usability in modern enterprise software products.
As Dennis Moore from the Enterprise Irregulators adds:
“Users pay to use consumer software, but they get paid to use enterprise software. Often, the things that frustrate users of enterprise software is not the software itself, but the business process used by the enterprise, which gets surfaced to the user via the software.”
The reason for this is simply that enterprise software vendors are selling to budget holders and not to the users. The budget owners don’t care about usability and modern applications, while end users have limited influence on the budget. Software vendors are therefore optimized toward budget holders rather than the delighting of end-users.
The result is poor adoption of traditional enterprise software, plus low end-user satisfaction. End-users spend time and energy on attempting to replace the incumbent enterprise software product with something that they will enjoy using and that will make them more productive. Mostly, this will be one of a growing number of modern cloud based solutions. If the end-users cannot influence change, the waste of enterprise resources continues and productivity spirals downward.
Enterprise software is changing. End-user influence and power is growing. IT leaders will be remiss not to recognize this.