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What can enterprise apps learn from consumer-facing apps?

In today’s smart phone-obsessed world, people rely on their devices for almost everything. From productivity to news to travel and more, there’s an app for every need, interest, and niche. Consumer-facing apps are undeniably central to our daily routines.

These apps are designed to solve precise needs: online shopping, social media, health tracking, and more. Each is targeted to a specific audience and built to be engaging, flexible, and user-friendly.

Though consumer-facing apps have been delighting users for some time, most enterprise apps have yet to offer the same level of user experience. Businesses, for the most part, still rely on enterprise applications that are a far cry from the simple and intuitive apps on our smartphones.

Traditional enterprise apps were developed to manage critical business functions, such as enterprise resource planning and asset management. Their mobile versions run on modern devices, but often their interfaces are basically slimmed-down versions of a full-size screen – that is, they provide a lot of functionality, but they’re complex and not intuitive.

Enterprise apps need to catch up

A key reason why mobile enterprise apps haven’t evolved at the same pace as consumer apps is that they aren’t subject to the same demands and expectations. Consumers pick and choose their apps for social media, navigation, and the like, and quickly jettison those they don’t like. But enterprise apps are deployed top-down; end-users don’t get to choose, but these apps are often the only way for them to access the enterprise data they need to do their work.

Some enterprise app vendors have invested resources to significantly improving their mobile apps to be easier and more satisfying to use. In other cases, vendors have built new mobile apps that integrate with existing enterprise apps.

In today’s tech-intensive and digitized world, it is more important than ever for enterprise apps to catch up with their modern consumer-facing counterparts. Today’s workers expect the apps they use at work to mimic the cutting-edge technology they are used to outside the nine-to-five. They show little appetite or tolerance for anything less.

If companies want to attract and retain the best and brightest new talent, they need to modernize their tech processes and experiences.

“Organizations must learn from innovative consumer apps to truly transform enterprise apps for maximum success.”

Jason Wong, Research Director at Gartner

The user has become the decision-maker

As noted above, enterprise apps have traditionally been chosen by senior management in order to provide specific, necessary functionality; usability has not been paramount. This often results in employees being dissatisfied with the user experience and consequently under-utilizing the non-intuitive software.

Today, however, it’s common for teams and employees to choose their own products. Users select software they love, rather than the software forced upon them. One downside of this empowerment, though, is that disparities among apps and unclear data storage policies can create chaotic IT environments. Choosing a set of functional tools that work for all employees is critical.

So, what does this mean for the future of enterprise apps? It means that design and functionality should be in line with consumer thinking, at least if the app is to succeed in the market. Companies building enterprise apps can learn a great deal from consumer-facing apps.

The personal user experience

Successful consumer-facing apps become popular when developers take the time to understand the people who use them. By viewing the app within a human context, developers can better understand how an end-user will incorporate the app into their daily life.

Consumer-facing apps deliver a positive user experience in several ways. First, consumer-facing apps tend to be intuitive: users don’t need external training to understand the functionality. This is important because, when it comes to adoption, intuitive apps are more likely to be used long term.

More importantly, the best consumer-facing apps save user preferences to create a more tailored interaction. According to a study from the University of Texas, users prefer personalized experiences because it helps reduce information overload. When the content we see is tailored to us, we are provided with a more manageable framework for engagement. In the workplace, this reduces stress and boosts efficiency.

Flexibility and integration

Users have come to expect a highly integrated experience across the apps they use. Whether it’s managing money, controlling lights, or logging into apps via an integrated Facebook option, users want their apps to work seamlessly together.

To be useful in a business setting, enterprise tools must integrate with other applications. When applications in the workplace can communicate, business processes are simplified, costs are reduced, and productivity improves. The integration of enterprise apps also allows for smooth data-sharing practices, better control, and heightened overall functionality.

Keep work moving with Nintex Mobile

Nintex knows it’s important for enterprise products to offer the same functionality and experience as popular consumer apps. That’s why we offer a business app that blends the accessibility of consumer experience with powerful enterprise functionality.

Nintex Mobile allows users to build customized, branded apps that are tailored to specific roles and requirements. What’s more, they can be connected to users’ mobile workflows.

Nintex Mobile makes it easy to create dynamic business processes that can be completed on the go. Each department within your business can enjoy their own flexible app, branded with color schemes and logos, alongside features like barcode/QR scanners, geo-location, and image/video attachment capabilities. Our enterprise apps are useful in the workplace and they’re user-friendly, which drives broad and rapid adoption.

 

If you’re looking for user-friendly enterprise apps that can revolutionize your business processes, click here to learn more about what Nintex can do for you.