DATA AND CONNECTIVITY — MAKING BEAUTIFUL SOFTWARE MEANINGFUL
In an earlier post, we established the importance of simplified and satisfying enterprise technology experiences as being the primary drivers of user happiness, acceptance and adoption. Rightly so — strong UI/UX (user interface/experience) and a sublime customer journey are after all the way to every user’s heart. But is it safe to bank on beauty and usability alone? Are aesthetics enough to deliver productivity? Surely, there’s more to be said about the substance to go with the style.
While it is true that good software is by no stretch of the imagination defined by functionality alone, the purpose for its existence mustn’t get lost amongst the bells and whistles. There’s nothing to be gained from a software system that looks nice, is easy and enjoyable to use, but can’t get any actual work done faster and/or better. If anything, it may even distract users and hamper performance levels. If it is to truly appeal to users, enterprise software must offer not only platform fluency but real value; it must make things easier, speed up tasks, solve problems and bridge gaps.
So, what’s the key to achieving all three user goals of productivity, happiness and value? (Hint: It’s not feature overloading!)
The fact is, the “consumerization” of B2B platforms, the emergence of the “cloud” and the coming of age of a more tech-savvy workforce have increased the demands on workplace technology, such that simply providing access to digital tools is no longer considered a value-add. Today's enterprise users have an insatiable need for actionable data and seamless connectivity; the kind that can connect cross-functional teams, bridge information gaps between business units, simplify processes and deliver all-round value. Thus, it is data and connectivity coupled with favorable user experience — and not just basic functionality — that holds the greatest potential for success in the form of productivity gains.
In a sense, the value of technology is measured in terms of access to and management of information. Providing access to clean, reliable data that is both reportable and shareable, can increase overall user satisfaction and put the workforce on an accelerated path to results. Moreover, data and connectivity have an immediate impact on the strategic direction of the enterprise; the elevation of data-centric user engagement and increased collaboration with business stakeholders increases the applied value of data in alignment with established business objectives.