IT Best Practices

6 Ways to Consumerize IT without Dumbing Down

It is possible to make IT deliverables fun and accessible without turning it into a Hooked on Phonics experience. Himanshu Sareen writes for InformationWeek with six ways to make even the most sophisticated products into a breezy affair for users:

  1. Don’t slouch on security.
  2. Focus on good design and a smooth user experience.
  3. Used BYOD to increase accessibility.
  4. Keep on innovating.
  5. Plug in multiple platforms.
  6. Find better ways to connect your employees.

The Best Experience

Sareen begins by noting that, no matter how strong your desire to make the product accessible, you still need to keep security as your chief concern. If you incorporate cloud or BYOD, you should be prepared to address the unique extended challenges that come with dealing with them. But indeed, BYOD can be a great way to increase accessibility, because it “caters to employees’ natural workflows.” Nothing beats a great design though, and about that, Sareen says:

Usually when we think about business software, we think in terms of features. While features are a great rhetorical tool for outlining the specific things that make your software notable, it's important to remember that employees don't work in terms of features. They just want software that helps make their job easier.

One of the most important ways that consumer tech has affected the enterprise is that users now understand what an elegant, intuitive UI looks like. By focusing on quality UX and clean design, you can make your software much more accessible and productive — without alienating your power users.

In order to keep innovative as you build and reiterate, it would be smart to look to consumer software for ideas, particularly at how these products are connecting people. Efforts to integrate the work experience across platforms are another welcome feature, as seen in the new platform Slack. Anything that can be done to better connect employees is a good thing, even if that means taking a gamble to incorporate some Facebook-esque elements into the mix.

You can read Sareen’s full article here:

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