With sprawling digital adoption fueled by emerging technologies such as cloud and AI, the enterprise IT landscape will be largely modernized over the next three to five years. Even as business leaders continue to look to CIOs to provide technology-driven differentiation in the marketplace, the enterprise applications ecosystem and its stakeholders will face new challenges. The demand for personalized micro-capabilities will soar, driving the need for continuous and rapid innovation – at scale.
As buyers increasingly play a direct role and assume an upper hand in the technology life cycle process, they will significantly impact how platform vendors, service providers, and developer communities evolve.
Those who foresee upcoming trends and adapt faster will outperform. This blog explores how enterprise applications are expected to evolve in the future and the impact it’s likely to produce beyond technology – for businesses as well as consumers.
Six trends shaping the future of enterprise applications
As technology disruptions upend our long-held knowledge on the value and ownership of enterprise applications, six major trends will define the future:
1. Hyper-contextual, micro-capabilities will lead to mass personalization at scale:
With cloud becoming the first choice for enterprise applications, the technology architecture of the future will be largely standardized across customers, allowing minimal customizations. Micro capabilities are basically Microservices or microservices architecture including cloud native architectural approach in which a single application is composed of many loosely coupled and independently deployable smaller components, or services. However, the key differentiating aspect of implementations will be highly personalized, contextualized micro-capabilities. These will not be a result of hard-coded customizations but will rather come from two different aspects:
A. Cloud enterprise platforms’ capability to configure hyper-personalizationrelevant to customer’s market context and composable architecture,
B. The evolving Apps marketplace publishing micro-capabilities through APIs. This means horizontal capabilities will be differentiated from micro-vertical capabilities and last-mile digital solutions.Security, data privacy, and regulatory concerns will ease significantly giving way to multi-cloud adoptions, except for some sector-specific applications that may remain on-premises with specialized capabilities built for a purpose.
2. AI predictability will drive the selection of micro-capabilities:
Product assessment will be replaced with an outcome-drivenselection from a pool of capabilities, instead of standard modules-based subscription. Once business KPIs and expected outcomes are finalized, the enterprise platform’s AI engine will provide recommendations of relevant micro-capabilities to choose from libraries, based on customer’s market context, industry best practices, adoption of the capabilities across the customer base, and their historical success. AI predictabilitywill also be measured against outcomes.
3. Agile enterprise applications will reign:
Most application vendors will provide in-built agility in the life cycle of product capabilities developed. Upgrade frequency and features’ selection will be customized at source, even on multi-tenant architecture. Going forward, closed-loop systems will emerge to integrate user feedback directly into the product innovation cycle in near real-time, bringing the application implementation cycle closer to agile product development.
Agile Methodology in application
4. Businesses will be free from vendor lock-in:
Standardized technology architecture will eliminate vendor lock-ins, enabling organizations to switch vendors without risking a major change in application configuration implemented. It will be possible to have multiple products seamlessly delivering different micro-capabilities of a particular function or process for a customer. The adopted capabilities are expected to be highly portable across various enterprise platforms.
5. Buyer’s market will emerge:
With less fear of vendor lock-in and high portability, application vendors will offer new try and buy models without requiring any commitment for upfront investments. More mature vendors are also likely to offer outcome-linked subscription models, giving customers both assurance and flexibility to pay only when the desired outcomes are achieved. Business capabilities may also be priced based on outcomes.
6. The business experience will take center stage:
With digitalization becoming the norm in all business functions, the business experiencewill become sacrosanct. System of records will no longer be simply transactional; rather it will acquire strategic importance, as customers gain more direct access to back-office data and information. Likewise, the system of engagements will be under pressure to measure CX in terms of tangible outcomes. Such systems will, therefore, collaborate more with back-office functions and external ecosystems to adapt at the pace of business change. A zero-touch user interface will become a reality.
Analytics driven CX approach
The transformational impact on ecosystem partners
Let’s understand how the shift in enterprise application development impacts the key ecosystem partners:
1. Apps Marketplace will play an important role in developing micro-capabilities and shaping the enterprise landscape. Business capabilities will be published by various marketplace players, developers, and the crowdsourced community, leveraging individual experiences. Their API-driven approach for different products will further boost hyper-personalization and flexibility for customers. For instance, Salesforce is known for its leading AppExchange platform, where thousands of ISVs and developers have built enterprise products such as Vlocity for Industry Cloud & FinancialForce for PSA solutions. Many more will emerge going forward.
2. Cloud Platform services will be key to providing flexibility and scalability to customers. Integration platforms will become more API-based. Data, content & collaboration platforms will offer consumption-based pricing. AI & Analytics platforms will deliver enterprise business use cases that will be priced on outcomes. Blockchain and IoT platforms will have bundled pricing by consortia or based on customer impact. Low code, no code features will become de facto.
API based integration platform
3. Service Providers will play a challenging role as a core integrator of business capabilities – by processes, persona, and business needs. Some providers will also build capabilities in the Apps Marketplace which may remain IP owned by either the service provider or jointly with the client. With the democratization of application development, emerging citizen developers, and the growth in the crowdsourced community, the application development role of system integrators (SI) will be limited.
However, service providers can emerge as a critical success partner for their clients as SIs will be largely looked upon as Advisors and Integrators who can assume the role of the true custodian of customers’ enterprise IT assets by leveraging multi-disciplinary teams with domain knowledge, experience design, and change management capabilities – all of which will assume higher importance. They will work closely with customers not only to implement business capabilities but also to assess best-of-breed application capabilities for their specific needs.
With increased technical debt due to legacy and fragmented cloud applications, architecture know-how will become a key differentiator. In an open enterprise, SIs will play a major role as orchestrators and channelize the consortia of Apps marketplace vendors, platform partners, and external services for their clients.
4. End customers will truly become Prosumers, directly influencing decisions related to products and service offerings, thanks to micro-capabilities offering hyper-personalization. Most customers will have personalized AI tools or assistants, and AI will be considered a new stakeholder that needs to be managed or influenced.
Human-Robot’s interaction or Cobots
5. Business users prefer role and persona-based application experiences that need higher personalization and context-driven functionalities. Cobot is one of its examples, where robots are intended for direct human-robot interaction within a shared place or work in proximity to humans. Cobots will be embedded into the applications, helping users with the automation of business workflows and physical actions together. Going forward, some business users will also become mature citizen developers. Take, for instance, Instabase that provides a platform and automation tooling to build cloud business applications. Many such platforms will emerge as a powerful marketplace providing numerous micro-capabilities that empower citizen developers and power users in DIY mode.
6. CIOs will shift focus from administering the IT landscape to attaining business outcomes and measuring the ROI of capabilities. With less fear of vendor lock-in and agile capabilities available at scale, IT will continue to act as a key enabler of business and IT architecture will become highly composable. With these changes, some of the business spend will shift from buying or managing enterprise platforms to partnering with advisors and integrators to drive superior outcomes.
We have already stepped into a new application-driven year, where enterprise applications will play the role of an innovative catalyst to drive the engine for business.
After knowing the above facts and benefits, it can be a question that where a business should get the proper enterprise application solutions for aligning the new tech approach with business goals. For them, Inovar consulting can be a fruitful solution with correct application-driven strategy and skillful resource. Check out how we have applied application strategy in our different projects and reach us for more information.
Digital user experience or digital experience (DX) is the reaction of an end-user after an interaction in a digital environment. Earlier, digital user experience was considered as the field of web designers and related to elements like webpage colors, navigability, layout, and performance. But today’s scenario has changed a lot, and DX is about how intuitive a webpage or app is, how effectively users can complete their tasks, and how well integrated the product is with other applications.
Factors of Digital UX
A strong user experience needs an efficient design team that brings value to an organization by increasing customers, sales, and organization productivity. The scope of DX has broadened as the sophistication of online environments has grown and diversified beyond a webpage to encompass wearables as well as applications incorporate with virtual reality and augmented reality. DX creates customer loyalty with effectiveness, improves conversion rates, as well as creates the appropriate customer-to-company circle. It reduces support costs since your digital user experience design forges your user’s habits.
As a business owner, you need to analyze how your business is approaching digital user-experience.
4 pillars of digital user experience
According to a survey result, if a webpage takes 10 seconds to load, 50%* of users give up and leave the page. The poor digital experience of users can create a negative impact on the brand and reduce website traffic. Hence, it is crucial to look at the four main pillars of Digital UX to improve final customer conversion.
Make the design interactive:
Websites, apps, screens almost all digital products need an active response from users who click, open, and scroll. Web designers should first check whether the elements in the screen such as controls, forms, responses, and workflow are well-defined. If not then, you need to
- Keep what you need and dispose of all unnecessary elements that will enhance the graphics of the web page.
- Make the web appearance clear by keeping whitespace between two elements
- Create an effective navigation button with links that are easy to navigate and position the toolbar in an area that makes sense
- Use one or two fonts, place the right information, break up blocks of text, and create short paragraphs as content readability matters a lot in web appearance.
Keep attention to the website innovation
Innovation develops a bridge between today’s experience and tomorrow’s experience. Make sure the value customers get from your website needs to match the amount of effort and resources they have got to invest in the experience. One business should actively measure how users feel about their product/service experience, which will bring opportunities to improve.
Make the presentation intuitive
Your website design should make a user interface as easy, effective, and emotionally resonant as possible for customers to use. The presentation intuitive must include layouts, grid systems, graphical elements, typography, and other elements.
Four Pillars of digital UX
Apply smooth digital integration
All the digital and non-digital touchpoints need to be interconnected and consistent with each other. If users get a seamless journey to experience, then they will automatically trust your brand.
Here I have also mentioned what to prioritize as your organization doubles down on digital UX.
1. Scale up your design architect
You will probably need more capacity and efficiency to up-level the UX of your website or app — in terms of skills, structure, standards, processes, and mix of people. When you are working with your customers, you need to be more focused on their requirements. If the design team has a clear image of project requirements, then it will be easy for them to implement proper solutions and set appropriate design standards. Your design team should first communicate with the internal users from the client-site, analyze their pain points, and initiate the project requirements. Here design leaders play a leading role in up-leveling skills among team members and building a trustworthy relationship with clients by keeping their commitments.
2. Outsource experience designer if you need
Maybe your organization does not have a design team, or there is no option to hire a design team, then outsource an experienced design consultant is an easy option for you. Outsourcing a web or an app designing expert team will expose you to interact with so many experts and creative architects. It will allow you to get access to the latest high-tech resources as well. An experienced designer will understand your business requirements and equip you with highly innovative, user-friendly, and latest web designs. According to a Forrester research report, a digital UX could boost your conversion rate by up to 400%** with higher sales, higher customer engagement, and faster product cycle.
3. Review and do usability testing rigorously
Businesses should never assume that users will bring inconsistencies to their notice and actively measure user experience. It is necessary to conduct a rigorous review and testing for your website performance to measure how your website is contributing to user experience. The process required several techniques, including a heuristic approach in which trained experts will perform key user scenarios, map user experience journey, and do usability testing. You can also contract with a third party (like a UX design consulting firm) to ensure your review objectives, and make sure you hire staff for a project with UX experts, not generalists.
4. Update and implement new thoughts in your UX expertise
There is always room for improvement, so never be too proud that you have designed something perfect. Make sure you are aware of the latest digital design trends and apply best practices in key UX areas. Use alternative approaches in sections like search, navigation, clarity of the content, accessibility, and others.
5. Visual and experience consistency
Visual consistency matters a lot to offer a great digital experience. A brand should maintain consistency in user-experiences in their product design across a range of products. Along with that, companies must follow consistency in offering digital experiences for which they must invest in UX design. Surprisingly, 65%* of companies have no thinking behind consistency in user experience. Inovar designers help clients to maintain consistency in the digital user experience through human-centric UX design.
The above artifacts will help you to understand how customer experiences are now essential for every business and how digital UX can redeem the pace. Now it is your turn to take views from your employees and users about what they would like to see and dig deeper into opportunities that an individual UX/UI can provide. Designers will have greater flexibility and more time to make impactful designs, and websites will finally have room to become more user-centric in 2021.
I would like to hear from you how your organization is coping with the challenges of ensuring high-quality UX at this historic time? If you are interested in contact with a design expert to get viable solutions for your website, then reach out to a UX design company like Inovar Tech.
* YUJ Developers, What is Digital User Experience? Retrieved from: https://medium.com/@yujsocial/what-is-digital-user-experience-cb82ceefae0d