UX will drive the next wave of enterprise IT
The next wave of IT innovation will be combine real-time analytics and improved user experience (UX). That will improve decision making in areas that range from managing large-scale infrastructure and collaborating on trading desks to prioritizing personal email inboxes, according to Robert Fabricant of frog and Greg Petroff of General Electric.
"This is the next and best opportunity for Enterprise IT software makers," Fabricant and Petroff write. "They better not screw it up. But to lead this revolution they must also adopt the latest advances in user experience design that have emerged from the consumer app marketplace. The key is not just better algorithms but more intelligent ways of surfacing the data in meaningful ways, through fresh visual and interaction paradigms."
Such advances depend on big data drivers such as ubiquitous Internet connections and on-demand cloud computing. But companies like IBM (NYSE: IBM), Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ) and GE may have an edge over big data startups when it comes to extracting value from a host of different data streams, because they already have the analytical experience and tools to do so. However, the user-experience layer will be critical to unlocking the value of data for business users.
Applications can range from marketing to wind farm management to aircraft-engine maintenance. But a more general business example is letting users manage phone calls and emails by automatically including social media scoring from services such as Klout, then visually tagging all messages to denote topics of interest.
"Today a buyer on Wall Street can correlate market moves across a broad array of software tools, all of which represent market data using a consistent language of color and behavior," write Fabricant and Petroff. "But someday soon your personal call history will look more like a stock portfolio than a to-do list and we will wonder how we ever managed the daily avalanche of communications without this additional layer of intelligence."
- see Robert Fabricant and Greg Petroff's post at HBR