Does enterprise software need to be user friendly let alone sexy? Some say it essentially can't be, while at least one pundit argues that sexiness is the key to success.
First came former Microsoft blogger Robert Scoble, who claimed no one cares about the look and feel of business software because so few people make purchase decisions around it, and those folks have other priorities. CNet blogger Michael Krigsman weighed in next, saying while consumer software should be sexy, enterprise software must first be reliable and secure.
Krigsman buttressed Scoble's entry by saying IT departments--not rank-and-file workers--rightfully have the final say in purchase decisions. The argument is that CIOs and their staffs are charged with keeping the tech trains running, so they are best suited to decide which tools to bring on board. Bells and whistles don't guarantee sales, particularly to CIOs and other IT executives who buy software based on its viability for their companies.
Next into the fray charged Nicholas Carr, of Does IT Matter? fame, on his Rough Type blog, arguing that business tools must be sexy--at least in ease of use and intuitiveness--to succeed in a changing marketplace.
Carr has a point. Newer innovations like software as a service, Web 2.0 and mobile applications are broadly available to those outside the IT department. For those consumers of business software, freshness and flash are key selling points.
Source: CIO Insight, http://www.cioinsight.com
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