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Here's a post I just put up about the obvious and not so obvious implications of using our personal devices for work. The big questions are:
1) Can our crappy looking and designed enterprise software measure up to our slick personal devices?
2) Our consumer apps are certainly designed to please us. Now the question is - have newer well designed solutions really thougth through what end users need to get their work done or are they just prettier incarnations of manager-benefit applications?

My conclusion is that we have work to do on both fronts...
Device ubiquity across home and work is the new item on the CIO’s to do list. Interesting stat in The Telegraph about how employees are more productive if
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Greg Lloyd's profile photoJawa Rodriguez's profile photocecil dijoux's profile photoSameer Patel's profile photo
17 comments
 
1. The crappy enterprise software will not fare well on the new form factors.
2. Designing applications to get jobs done (old way, or cloud way) really requires a change in the Enterprise. I don't think an app is going to change them.

I'm all about designing more job focused apps and less all encompassing monstrosities but I think it's fair to say that some old thinking will find it's way into the new form factors that mobile requires. It could be ugly, or it could be beautiful, but it could still end up being all about data collection for management.

Let's hope not for the companies we work with ;)
 
Im perfectly ok with new outcome based design catering to management needs. I just think that we need to also provide ways to give the end user value and / or in the cases of management only benefit, get the hell out of the way as soon as possible. I dont think management would have a problem with this. I just don't think they've thought about it before and software never really stretched their imagination to even consider it.
 
1). No, not yet. And there lies the huge opportunity for an upstart and/or market differentiation.
2). The latter. Lipstick on a pig. It still comes down to we get what we measure and we do what we're incentivized to do.
 
+Steve Elmore Re: 2), Im seeing some innovation here but I agree - I still think its about ease of reporting up in many many cases. We see a nicely form fitted iPad add and start drooling over it before considering where its designed at all for the end users work at hand.
 
Management has a job to do as well. It will be nice when one of those jobs is to ensure that their employees can get their jobs done while adding more value than they destroy. :)
 
I agree slick personal devices and expectations based on the public Web raise the bar for what management sees as possible and desirable. In many cases a shift from traditional IT infrastructure to a Web-like architecture would also be less expensive and more responsive to changing requirements.

I don't think that's news, but a faster, bigger shift may be driven by management and employee expectations - as well as confidence that the results are achievable. It would also get IT less focused on plumbing and more focused on business value.

See notes from an earlier G+ discussion (G+ cross linking should be a lot easier and well-supported)
http://traction.tractionsoftware.com/traction/permalink/Blog1787
 
And a related point on the (only?) value of gamification "Guys who design video games love to play video games. Whereas nobody who designs office software seems to care about using it, let alone hopes to use it at warp speed." ~ Ted Nelson
 
+Greg Lloyd thats a great quote. seems obvious but we forget it. maybe we need accountants to design the next ERP financials module :)
 
Yes. The best accountants the company can find, with iPads in hands, and their little kids sitting on their laps,
 
"And a little child shall lead them..."
 
+Greg Lloyd Your quote on guys who design video games love to play video games isn't true. I know a couple of video game employees 1 of which works for 1 of the biggest online video games and they don't play video games...
 
+Joshua Rodriguez Neat story! Maybe like the bakers who hate eating cake. But I bet they have a really good sense of what hard core gamers love.
 
Great post Sameer. I've attended a talk back in 2008 on software usability were the guy told us that Public social software companies (Facebook, Twitter etc ...) spend between 10-15% of their development budget on the UI.

Enterprise Software is usually around 2-3%.Enteprise Software is so focus on features, security, compatibility etc ... that they don't have budget/resource/ideas/energy left for the UI.As Apple gets more and more in the enterprise using iPad as Trojan Horse, this will definitely change.
 
Thanks Cecil. Thats a great stat. Do you think its sourced or was it an estimation? Also, i dont think not having budget is going to cut it for much longer. Its becoming price of entry...
 
Hi Sammeer. The guys (from Octo technology a very respected IT consulting company in Paris) really were into UI into enterprise software so I would tend to trust their quote. However I don't know what the source is. Might be worth googling it. I think there still is a huge difference : people will use public web apps only if they are easy to use. In a company you HAVE to use the software because that's the way it works so enterprise software vendors didn't really care so far.
 
+cecil dijoux You're right, Cecil. Interestingly though, as budgets are moving to LOB, that will change. Moreover the ability for the end user to buy apps (as they did with Salesforce a decade ago) is now a 100 times easier and there are 100s of new apps for each function. I suspect this will have an impact in many places unless the core enterprise apps we buy start to offer more meaningful UX. But I agree, at a good chunk of companies, culturally this will take time.
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