What are the biggest problems that come to mind when we talk about enterprise software? For some reason it happens that we can’t use it as easily as we use our everyday consumer software apps — be it a pizza delivery or a messenger.
At the moment B2B software tends to make the user experience overly complicated, hard to use and not as enjoyable as the regular every day apps with their simplicity and user friendliness.
How did it happen that enterprise software turned to this user-unfriendly machine that requires years of training for just using it?
In this blog post we talk about complexity, velocity and maintenance – the three main challenges that affect the user friendliness of enterprise software.
Of course, the processes that need to be run on B2B apps can be much more complex than with other apps such as pizza delivery. There are many people that need to be in the loop and the risks of making a wrong decision are higher.
Large B2B apps are used by many departments with different goals, often are customized for company specific needs and need to deliver a full cycle operation service, while the consumer apps often focus on only one or two main features.
This can often result in an interface that tries to cover every feature at once and sometimes can look terrifying at the first glance.
Salesforce product line is designed specifically to address different needs of sales, marketing, operations and developers. It allows teams to focus exclusively on their tasks while keeping the communication between the departments.
Velocity refers to the speed the final software product can be delivered. Here consumer companies are more likely to move faster, because their revenue stream does not depend on big clients. They are also more in control of the feature development and less dependent on the clients’ feedback.
At the same time, enterprise companies involve a lot more stakeholders who play a much more significant role in its further development. They move with a slower pace, because of the need to align all the interests involved.
For things to run smoother it is important that everyone who is using the software in the company is up to date and on the same page. That makes it harder to accept innovation, because every new major update requires new training and more hours spent on learning and adjusting your processes on it.
“Never change a running system” principle often flourishes in large enterprises, and the software cannot stay unaffected. Everybody heard stories of some hospitals or administration offices still using Windows 95.
This kind of environment is what B2B software needs to be ready for and very often it results in lack of change and favouring the status quo.
To summarise there are three main challenges that affect the user experience of enterprise software: complexity, velocity and maintenance. To make sure that enterprise software is user friendly, organisations should provide:
- Right tools that allow them to deploy new features with ease
- An open space for development without long approval and decision processes
- Change should be embraced instead of feared when it comes to developing new features or changing the application all together to avoid being stuck with old non functional systems.
What are your experiences with enterprise software and how have you overcome these challenges? We would love to hear from you.