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Five principles for achieving a user experience transformation

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By: Ben Lovejoy

 

When Geoffrey Moore spoke in 2010 about the need for enterprise IT to move from "systems of record" to "systems of engagement," he was arguing for a complete rethinking of the user experience delivered by corporate computer systems.

 

Five principles for achieving a user experience transformationFive years later, there's still work to be done on the user experience transformation Moore described, and the dramatic growth in mobile applications has added to the challenge. It's a challenge many enterprises have already accepted—HP among them. To meet these challenges, these five hurdles need to be overcome.

 

1. Think people, not systems

The first hurdle is the simplest to describe and the hardest to achieve. IT systems have for decades been focused on the needs of the organization and the regulatory environments in which it operates. People—both employees and customers—were expected to adapt to the systems.

 

Today, we need to devise systems that have the flexibility to adapt to the ways that people think, work, and collaborate. That often requires a willingness to redesign IT services rather than attempt to update existing ones.

 

2. For legacy systems, look for middleware solutions

Of course, no enterprise business is in the luxurious position of being able to replace all its existing systems with shiny new ones. But middleware can offer a decent compromise, making data buried deep in legacy systems accessible on a wide range of devices.

 

3. Adopt a mobile-first approach

Historically, enterprise IT was designed either exclusively or predominantly for the desktop environment. Mobility was at best an afterthought. But with today's staff and customers alike picking up their smartphones and tablets far more often than they turn to their PCs, that approach needs to be reversed. Data that cannot be accessed on a mobile device is effectively inaccessible to many of your staff for much of the time. Design for mobile, adapt for desktop.

 

4. Take advantage of user feedback and analytics

In the old IT, you specced up the requirements as thoroughly as possible, developed a solution to meet those requirements, and then launched. The new IT is far more iterative, consulting with users not just at the design stage but throughout the build—and after launch.

 

But while user feedback is crucial to determining future changes, so too is objective data. Analytics can give a rich view of how a tool is being used: which features are used by whom and on what devices.

 

5. Ensure solutions are flexible and scalable

Long gone are the days when you had to determine your processing and storage needs months or even years ahead. Cloud-based solutions give you the flexibility and scalability to adjust IT capacity to changing demand.

 

Adopting these five principles will ensure that you deliver a user experience which meets the needs of the business today continues to do so as those needs evolve in the future.

 

Learn more about achieving a user experience transformation with the free e-book Separating IT facts from fiction.

 

 

About the author

Ben LovejoyBen Lovejoy

 

Ben Lovejoy is EU Editor of 9to5Mac and 9to5Google and a freelance tech writer whose published credits include the Guardian, the Telegraph, the Sunday Times, the Express, and many regional newspapers. He's written for more than 30 computer & technology magazines, as well as numerous businesses, websites, and corporate clients.

About the author

Connect with Ben:

 Follow me on Twitter @benlovejoy

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