Webinfinity Blog

Take complexity out of Enterprise content

[fa icon="calendar"] Oct 7, 2016 12:36:00 PM / by James Hodgkinson

James Hodgkinson

For many organizations, getting the right information to managers, salespeople, partners, and customers takes too much time and costs a great deal of money.

In a recent piece on "Why Complexity is the Enterprise's biggest debt," product designer Jean-Pierre Pequito states, "In the past years consumer software has shifted towards simplicity. However, large organizations are dependently integrated with legacy systems built a decade ago for a different generation of users. Enterprise IT has been sustaining innovation by incrementally adding functionality without reducing complexity. This leads them to make poor decisions based on a distorted reality of what is happening inside their companies." In other words, companies and their employees are held back because their tools aren't doing what they need them to do.

It doesn't take much looking around enterprises to find systems with terrible user interfaces. These are typically the ones employees "work around" creatively. Some spend time exporting the data and creating their own reports in Excel. Others collect content from disparate sources, and email multiple attachments or send links to Dropbox locations instead of using the IT-created server hierarchy.

Pequito continues, "Reducing complexity is still today's challenge for any enterprise software…This means weighing more product purpose than functionality, removing the amount of UI elements and minimizing steps in the flow." However, many enterprise developers don't have user interface design experience, nor do they have sufficient UX/UI support. Additionally, many 3rd party products come with generic interfaces that enterprises deploy. Employees and partners needing to use these systems find them to have a high cognitive load. It is tough to remember system commands if you don't use the system often, and when the functions aren't intuitive.

Add to this complexity the desire of employees, especially in sales roles, to ensure the information they require is available on-the-go, via tablet, phone, or whatever computer happens to be handy. A survey from enterprise app and data security provider Mobile Helixfound the lack of mobile applications from within the enterprise can be put down to three primary reasons: cost, complexity and security. They also found that, on average, only one in five (21%) enterprise apps could be used on a mobile device, be it ERP or CRM software. Four in five (81%) respondents agreed that the cost of developing enterprise apps was too high.

If you are responsible for getting the right information to the right employees, customers or partners at the right time, you must be disheartened by such statistics. At home, employees are used to the simple interfaces from their consumer software and the apps on their phones. At work, they learn multiple enterprise applications with different and often difficult interfaces, from Sharepoint to Salesforce, in order to do their jobs. In many cases users are fighting the systems designed to help them and in the worst circumstances are being under-informed by these legacy apps.

The migration of business critical processes into purpose-built SaaS applications has only exaggerated these challenges. Information has been scattered across an ever larger "cloud" of disparate systems. Getting the information that's needed in a timely fashion has become even more complex. What if that complexity could be removed from these key applications, to allow employees seamless access to information from diverse sources? What if that information could appear in the right format on any device?

Think about an optimal, device-independent experience for employees or partners trying to get information to respond to a potential sales opportunity for a customer. In our fantasy world, the employee would get data from multiple sources, and it would be personalized and contextually relevant to our sales opportunity. Perhaps others in the organization had tagged and sorted this data, making it easy for us to find. Our employee or partner wouldn't care where the information originally resided; they would just be able to utilize it for the opportunity.

Webinfinity has just released a white paper describing this scenario – how we got to this point when our free consumer software was easier than the systems we pay millions of dollars to run, and what to do next. The paper describes 9 key elements of a system that would enable our fictional employee to deliver the information needed to satisfy our fictional customer.

The best part is that the scenario and the solution are not fictional. We all know this kind of challenge happens every day. That's why Webinfinity provides an easily deployed, mobile-enabled solution to deliver that personalized content to the right person on the right device quickly and easily.

Learn more by downloading the full white paper. Let's have a conversation about how reducing that technological friction can increase profitability.

Topics: Enterprise, Personalized Experience, Content

James Hodgkinson

Written by James Hodgkinson

I am a Founder & Chief Executive Officer with Webinfinity, which is redefining the partner experience by weaving together systems and content in a single digital fabric and replacing the traditional PRM.