The Trend of Consumerization within Enterprise Applications – Part 1

08/03/2016 01:21 pm ET

There is a dramatic change happening in enterprise software design. The chasm between the consumer and enterprise experience is quickly closing. Enterprise users demand the same product experiences they have in their personal lives. New “consumerized enterprise” solutions extend user experiences found in the world’s leading consumer applications, to the business domain. For too long, enterprise software developers have not made user experience a top priority, but this mindset is quickly changing.

“Consumerization in enterprise software is the process of redesigning and re-orienting the end user experience from a process driven one, to a user driven one.”

End users, whether they are at home or at work, want solutions that are intuitive, easy-to-use, and deliver functionality that meets their transactional or business requirements.  In parallel, savvy developers recognize that improved usability multiplies the business value of the solution. As a result, enterprises are redesigning their technology solutions to more closely resemble consumer applications. These solutions remove friction points and barriers, making the user experience both seamless and highly optimized.

These concepts not only apply to desktop enterprise applications, but mobile applications as well.  Users are increasingly mobile, and so to should be their access and experience with these enterprise applications.  As more and more developers have adopted a “mobile first” strategy, the idea that mobile can be a secondary experience, is not longer valid.  With mobile usage numbers continuously on this rise, truly consumerized software must be “omni-channel”, and the quality of the end user experience must be fluid across all devices.  Allowing users true freedom of mobility, with a consistent user focused experience serves to not only increase adoption, but also multiplies the business value of the application.

While enterprise software that has long been plagued by a lack of consumerization and a secondary focus on the user experience, software design trends on consumer products are beginning to take hold.  Enterprise software developers that are able to acknowledge and adapt to this trend will have a considerable competitive advantage moving forward.  Enterprise software that does not will not only be at a competitive dis-advantage, but will increasingly look more and more like dinosaurs, in the years to come.

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