A recent article by Jon Kolko in Harvard Business Review calls for vendors to “Make Enterprise Software People Actually Love.” The author posits that there is a big change happening—the lines between business software and consumer software are becoming more and more blurred.
Traditionally business software has been expected to be “feature rich” and complexity and difficulty of use was the accepted trade off. Consumer software, on the other hand, is meant for “regular” people who have expectations related to ease of use, simplicity, and most importantly, emotional attachment.
The author refers to the “consumerization of IT,” with workers bringing their own devices and software to the workplace and rejecting the overly complicated software provided by employers. Consumerization in this context refers to the power of choice and autonomy of control. He says that as we see more and more productivity tools emerge that are simple and easy to use, we’ll continue to see more individual business units reject traditional massive and complex enterprise tools for smaller, simpler tools.
The enterprise-to-consumer shift Kolko writes about is occurring in nearly every sector, and we at Astera have been seeing it in the data integration space over the past couple years. As the demand for data integration software that people like and are able to use has grown, so has the demand for our Centerprise Data Integrator, which we built from the ground up for ease of use.
It is becoming an asset for companies to have software that business professionals as well as IT specialists can use for several reasons. Firstly, in order to remain agile and competitive, enterprises are increasingly relying on business intelligence, for which they need up-to-the minute data. Data preparation that can only be done by IT creates bottlenecks, slowing processing and delivery of data for critical business decision-making. Secondly, business users are the ones who are closest to customers and partners and they know the best way to use enterprise data. Empowering these users with the ability to do their own data integration enables them to do it the way they need it and do it faster than waiting for IT. This makes for more efficient use of data, resulting in better customer relations and faster partner onboarding.
The consumerization of IT and demand for easy-to-use data integration tools is taking off, and here at Astera we’re on top this trend, which we predicted years ago. Our customers are already saying they love our software:
“We absolutely love the product, it’s just so fun to work with.” June Ebell, technical data steward at Focus On The Family
90-second video: Data Integration for Business Users Explained