Digital transformation: Why every enterprise needs to think about UI

You can throw all the money and technology you want at enabling the digital transformation of any form of enterprise, but if your end users are uncomfortable with your brand-new solutions, they will simply stop using them.

Put the customer first

These are just some of the thoughts shared with me by Sam Johnson, Chief Customer Officer at Jamf, following that company’s move to introduce its, Jamf School MDM (Mobile Device Management) solution for educators.

Many may not understand why schools may need MDM solutions, but just like any enterprise the sector is making more and more use of technology – or trying to.

“MDM in education allows schools to integrate technology into their classrooms seamlessly, ensuring data protection and without the worry of updating the OS or device authentication, Johnson explained.

The thing is, while technology promises so much in terms of productivity, proficiency and learning improvements, delivering on those promises requires effective deployment – and must also be agile enough to evolve over time.

“If end users are uncomfortable using the technology with which they are provided, there is a good chance they won’t use it,” Johnson told me.

Making solutions that matter

One error enterprise users make when creating new software solutions for their business is to misread the needs of the internal customer.

You end up with apps that everyone is expected to use which really only meet the needs of senior management,

Some software solutions are built to be usable by IT teams or those who are familiar with technology, as they are responsible for managing the organization’s devices… but they aren’t built with the end user in mind as well,” Johnson observed.

Failing to consider the needs of the end user means that the very same people an enterprise wants using those apps most end up enduring an experience that seems unfamiliar or unintuitive, so they use the solutions badly, if at all.

“Ensuring that the end user will be able to utilize the technology, rather than be burdened by it, is critical when implementing these solutions, especially when wanting to encourage maximum productivity and creativity.”

On app design

The need to deliver intuitive solutions that end users engage with extends to user interface design.

If the UI is cumbersome, hard to figure out or functionally flawed, you’ll find that the people you want to have using those apps will use something completely different.

Is there any excuse for poor app design?

“Not today. Customers demand intuitive and productive applications,” Johnson said.

“It is critical for the end user to be comfortable and confident with the technology they are using.”

Understanding Apple’s impact

It is possible even Apple didn’t fully realize the profound transformation it put in motion when it introduced the iPhone.

A dozen years later and the impact of mobility is still transforming every market it touches and a plethora of integrations service providers are helping businesses deploy Macs and iOS devices.

We also know that when employees get a choice they will usually choose to use an Apple product.

“We believe that the intuitive and powerful features of the Apple platform enable people to do their best work and students to learn,” said Johnson.

Of course, like any technology solution it’s imperative that the fast growing number of organizations opting for Apple are properly supported in order to optimize the impact of newly deployed apps and devices – and that they focus on what their users need.

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