A new study from Capriza Inc., suggests that enterprise apps are far too complex for both employees and customers.
Capriza turned to over 1,200 enterprise app users and 300 IT executives, and they found something startling. Nearly half—45 percent—of users considered enterprise apps to be both too complex and too “clunky” for regular employees. Perhaps worse, just 38 percent of enterprise apps were considered “mobile friendly.” Over half of those in the survey admitted to using a consumer-focused app like Dropbox to carry out a day's tasks, rather than turning to an app the company has already approved, a condition sometimes referred to as “shadow IT”.
Fixing this problem is a challenge; just outright replacing the apps currently used for newer apps—called a “rip and replace” strategy—would cost somewhere around $14 million dollars for the replacement licenses necessary, with a private cloud doing the hosting. For on-premises hosting, that number rises to $20 million, if 1,500 licenses are involved. Yet there are substantial losses in productivity if the apps are an active impediment to getting the job done. With almost two out of three respondents to the Capriza study admitting to losing time to searching and navigating apps just to find needed data, the productivity bite takes on a new life.
Just recently, we heard about how more companies are taking on a mobile-first development strategy, and this is likely at least part of why. For some time now, mobile apps have been almost an afterthought in development, with desktop being a clear focus. That may have resulted in the “clunky” apps that we hear about today, and why consumer apps—which are developed strictly for the mobile device user—are proving a bigger hit with employees. This is a problem for businesses, who need standardization in apps for better control and system protection, but who also need the apps to work sufficiently. The new mobile-first strategies may be a help, but it may take longer than companies want to wait to start getting in on the better apps.
Still, it's clear that mobile is becoming an increasing focus for users and developers alike. As more of the workforce goes mobile and the market expands, so too will development increase. Increased development means, generally, a better overall product, so the enterprise mobile of tomorrow will be less clunky and more productive than it is today.