Enterprise Usability – There is always a risk of ‘Change’ being ‘Challenged’!

In our previous post we talked about ‘Enterprise Usability’, the two major points we touched upon were;

Enterprise buyers in most of the cases will never be the Users., and The Constraint faced due to Architecture. See here

Let’s talk about two other facets of Enterprise Usability and understand why it is tough to have good enterprise software which are user friendly to start with!

Think about this: How many times you as an individual have accepted the Change? Not many times, I would say!

There is always a risk of ‘Change’ being ‘Challenged’

Long time users become so engrossed in the processes they work on, that they feel any change will disrupt their way of doing business. They’re likely to be irritated, and feel bad about things they feel affect their bottom line, even if it benefits them in the long term.

Any improvement that is being made in the product is likely to affect someone who pays for your current product.

In industry there are proven ways and methods to upgrade / update the existing portion of a product, but the risk of being challenged is what makes Organization put those changes on hold for a long…very long time.

Let’s see what happens when you have a product like Microsoft Word, which is feature-heavy applications where 90% of the users utilize 10% of the product, multiplied several times over!


Enterprise products are the products which often try to be all things to all people instead of focusing on a specific set of primary users and a selective number of user or usage scenarios. This results in having a no specific target groups of users – Solution being generic, at the cost of Usability.

Below excerpts are from a conference where customers shared their top usability issues about enterprise software:

  • Customers perceive that the user interfaces of enterprise software are inconsistent and difficult to navigate.
  • Customers think that some functionality is missing or inappropriate to their tasks.
  • Performance problems with enterprise software are perceived to cause productivity losses to workers.
  • Preformed workflows seldom conform to actual business processes.
  • Collaboration is possible, but difficult

One major problem that becomes a bottleneck in upgrading to new version of a software is; The new could do a lot that previous versions could not; however, user would not be sure the complexity penalty of these extra functions was worth the price s/he has to pay in learning and using the new software.

These are certain points which ends up making the existence of User friendly Enterprise Software a distant dream!

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