Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Survey shows well designed software is crucial to productivity improvement
Business software suppliers must rise to the challenge and bring well-designed applications to the workplace. Embedded application search, integrated communities, enhanced navigation and individualization options are just some of the design elements and functions that can help meet the demands of the i-generation workforce and enhance personal and organizational productivity.
In a recent international survey of more than 1,000 business IT users, carried out on behalf of IFS, the global enterprise applications company, over a third of respondents identified the web as providing the most intuitive user experience. Only 1 in 5 cited business applications used in the workplace as easy to use – well behind the web and email applications (27%).
Respondents were asked to identify the top three causes of wasted time when using enterprise software. Top of the list was learning to use different modules and applications (20%), searching for relevant information held in the application (19%) came second and difficulties moving through business processes that are not grouped together or ordered in a logical way (14%) was third.
“One of the key reasons for installing enterprise software is to simplify the running of business processes so that decision making can be improved. Well-designed business applications that incorporate elements like search, networking, easy navigation and individualization are what people are now demanding in the workplace – based on their personal use of the web. Organizations who respond have the opportunity to remove frustrating time-wasters for staff involved at all stages, providing opportunities for them to be more productive both individually and collectively. Improved usability really can make a difference to the company’s revenue, making the employees more efficient and productive because it’s easier to do the job,” said Alastair Sorbie, IFS CEO.
Respondents were also frustrated by the time wasted dealing with difficulties in transferring data between systems (13%) and navigating around and between different applications (11%).
“94 per cent of the IT professionals surveyed readily identified areas where business applications take longer to perform specific tasks than they should. Bringing features and functions common in consumer websites into the business world was a way respondents identified as being able to save time. Business software buyers should be looking for applications that have incorporated such features into their application design now.”
“Just one example from IFS is the enterprise application search we have embedded at the heart of our systems. Because we know industry business processes and the data involved, our search capability, not only performs with the ease of a web tool, but adds the business context to the data to make it more relevant to answer the question being posed – be that a customer order inquiry, status report or request from the board,” Sorbie concluded.
IFS (OMX STO: IFS), the global enterprise applications company, provides solutions which enable organizations to respond quickly to market changes - allowing resources to be used in a more agile way to achieve better business performance and competitive advantage.IFS was founded in 1983 and now has 2,600 employees worldwide. IFS has pioneered component-based ERP software with IFS Applications, now in its seventh generation. IFS’ component architecture provides solutions that are easier to implement, run and upgrade. IFS Applications is available in 54 countries in 22 languages.IFS has over 600,000 users across seven key vertical sectors: aerospace & defense; automotive; high-tech; industrial manufacturing; process industries; construction, service & facilities management and utilities & telecom. IFS Applications provides extended ERP functionality including customer relationship management (CRM), supply chain management (SCM), product lifecycle management (PLM), corporate performance management (CPM), enterprise asset management (EAM) and maintenance repair and overhaul (MRO) capabilities.