Recently I was reading an article about how designing for enterprises is different from consumer customers and is more challenging. However, being part of a leading software company who has successfully designed applications for enterprise companies as well as small business and consumer products for more than a decade now, I would want to differ. The difference between designing for consumer and enterprise applications has narrowed down drastically in the past few years. It would not be an over statement that the difference - barely exists at all.
There is a subtle change that has taken over the way users use software applications or "apps" if you prefer so. Users are now more inclined towards enterprise level applications, the one they are familiar with in the workplace, even when they switch to non-work mode.
And the most surprising element is that the change is not merely for Microsoft Word or the all-time favourite email client, but the change is across all types of applications and in all use cases. It will not be an overstatement that use of every application starting from data visualisation tools to WebEx-style video collaboration is changing, if you like it at work - you will use it at home. Enterprise applications are in the hands of the consumer.
Enterprises eager to get relieved from some of the biggest challenges, especially of system agility, are pushing for software solutions that are far quicker compared to their existing systems - they have been relying on for ages.
We do not deny the fact that there will always be big and complex enterprise software systems that support gigantic organisations, making it more challenging a task for us to keep customising those systems. However; now when large enterprises are pushing for greater IT agility, there is a sharp shift toward simpler, modular and apps with convenience of customisation.
The users have become the decision makers and the faster the better we as service providers and you as entrepreneurs accept these facts:
Teams and employees more frequently will choose their own products. It means the best product and design wins, rather than the best sales and marketing.
Users are more likely to pick software they love, and not the one they force them to use.
Our goal as developers and yours as business owners is to build apps so great that your users would love to use and share it with all their teammates.
What I personally feel is that the beauty of designing for enterprise and other paid applications is that user goals and business goals are aligned together for enhanced productivity, engagement and profitability - of course. What else can one ask for?
In coming years it should not come to us as a shock if we find some outstanding examples of business groups that are more than engaged in the lifecycle of "own" front end apps. We anticipate and foresee rebirth of custom development, as leading companies will find it to be the best option to keep pace with changing objectives of a digital business. We at Hi-Tech are confident of observing more and more CIOs and IT leaders sitting across tables with their innovative software development partners, discussing how they can help facilitate the new application development trend.
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