Real Time Communications Featured Article

Enterprise Apps Must Follow Their Consumer Counterparts Closely

January 22, 2015

Consumer devices have grown powerful enough and multi-functioned enough, that now, consumer technology leads the way in the enterprise. Consumer IT innovates, employees see this innovation in their personal lives, and it makes its way over the corporate side when people start to ask why they don’t have these tools at work, too.

With the rise of smartphones, this process has accelerated to the point that businesses need to completely rethink their enterprise software strategy.

That’s because the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend has made it exceedingly easy for employees of any rank to use their own hardware and software to get work done. If the company allows the employee to use their own personal equipment, all the better. Either way, though, employees are using their own IT tools when it suits them.

This changes how businesses are building enterprise apps. No longer are employees stuck with the enterprise version of an app, so businesses need to make sure their enterprise apps are on par with consumer offerings.

In practice, this means adopting the visual and stylistic conventions of leading consumer options—and giving in to consumer software when there’s no obvious advantage that an enterprise app can bring.

One area where enterprise apps need to ape consumer apps is real-time communications. Consumer apps have wholeheartedly embraced social media and real-time communications, and such functionality is baked into almost every consumer offering.

Enterprise apps similarly need to bring real time communication or find themselves left on the sidelines.

A host of providers have developed turkey solutions for enterprise customers so this important component of modern consumer software can be included in enterprise apps. These vary from proprietary solutions to open and emerging standards such as WebRTC.

However corporate IT gets there, though, it is important that enterprise apps include some form of real-time communications element and strongly follow the design and ease of use standards of the top consumer apps.

If IT doesn’t follow consumer offerings, employees just go around these clunky enterprise offerings and use the consumer version that catches their fancy instead.


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