Why enterprise software is worse than the DMV

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The pains of the DMV are endless. And given how brutal it can be, I’m sure I’m not alone when I admit that I postpone making the trip to the DMV for as long as I can – I have since I was 16 and I don’t foresee that changing anytime soon.

The preparation involved when visiting the DMV is exhausting in and of itself. I have to schedule time away from my usual duties. I have to gather all of the necessary paperwork. I even have to mentally prepare myself for the terrible people I will have to deal with regardless of which side of the counter they are on.

Then once I get there, I have to stand in line for hours and simply hope I am standing in the right line. And, in the event I was prepared and made an appointment in advance, it won’t really matter as I will still have to wait in line. And there’s always the chance that I’ll show up and realize I don’t have the right paperwork, forcing me to walk away empty handed.

This process sounds all too familiar when I think about enterprise software at work. Enterprise software is clunky, convoluted, and hard to maneuver. When I need to access information or pull data for my job, I have to stop what I’m doing, figure out which systems hold the data I need, access those systems, remember my login and password, and then scroll and click through pages of information to find what I need. Sound familiar? Today’s enterprise software is not intuitive and well, it kind of feels like preparing for my trip to the DMV and then figuring out which line to stand in once I get there.

And it’s not that we don’t know how to get what we need from enterprise systems (or the DMV); it’s that we know just how long it will take, dread doing it, and try to find ways to work around the systems that our IT department (or government) has spent millions (or billions) of dollars on.

According to a recent Forrester study, more than a third of business users are confused over which systems to access to get the data they need and a quarter of business users circumvent policies and dig through lengthy reports to access the data they need. Seventy-six percent of business users say it takes too long to complete tasks with their current enterprise apps and 69% say that accessing data in their apps is inefficient.

What does this mean for you and me? It means that companies need to make it easier for their employees to use workplace apps if they want to improve productivity and efficiency of their workforce. It means that IT teams need to focus on simplifying how employees access information from multiple systems to ensure data is accessible and tasks are completed in a timely manner. More importantly, IT organizations must look to solutions that personalize the information and tasks provided to employees so that they are relevant, timely, and delivered where employees are, be that their device, email, or a messaging app. Ultimately, IT must find a way to deliver relevant data that is buried deep in enterprise systems so that employees don’t dread or delay doing real work to avoid using their systems.

Companies should be more focused on delivering employees the information they need, when they need it. They can do this by delivering information and tasks to employees in a personalized feed, much like what you would see on Facebook, to enable quick information review and task completion. Employees need something that is simple and intuitive and helps them get the job done.

As companies embrace a more simplified, personalized approach, they’ll see a more productive workplace and happier workers. The DMV experience is anything but “simple and intuitive,” but there is still a chance for enterprise software.

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