Blurred lines: is the consumerisation of enterprise tech creating unnecessary division?

For Adam Doti, a Salesforce veteran of over 11 years who has designed the UX for platforms such as Salesforce Lightning, the whole debate over the consumerisation of enterprise technologies is simple. Users are demanding ‘frictionless design’ and if that means using engaging consumer techniques in enterprise products, then so be it.

“Enterprise technology companies need to stay hyperfocussed on human-centred experiences and consider the humans who work for a company, more than the company itself,” explains the Salesforce VP and principal design architect. 

“What are their needs as users of your product? At Salesforce, we show deep empathy for our users and remember that many of them spend eight hours a day on the platform as a function of their role, making human-centred design so critical.”

The point Doti makes is that if technology is easy to use and more intuitive, it is less likely to create a barrier to productivity. A simple case of using whatever technology works and gets the job done. But is that right? There is a distinction here – it’s one thing to design enterprise products to look and feel like consumer products. But it’s completely another thing to actually blur the lines and use consumer products in the enterprise.

During the pandemic and the rush to set up working from home, there was an inevitable shift in digital technology use. Employees working from home expected technology to be as simple to use as consumer technologies. Simplicity was key. With IT support staff stretched to breaking point, organisations needed employees to self-service as much as possible and that meant using devices and tools that were more familiar. It led to an increase in choice and, consequentially, a surge in sales at firms such as Apple.


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