Macadamian Reveals 5 Trends That Will Shape Enterprise Software in 2012

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Focus on Usability Underpins a Seismic Shift in Delivering Enterprise Software Value

Macadamian
As we enter 2012, the battleground in enterprise software is shifting from features to usability.

Macadamian, a global leader in user research based software development, today released five key predictions about the future of enterprise software. These projections, drawn from experience on hundreds of projects with clients, are of strategic importance to enterprise software vendors and web-based service providers.

“As we enter 2012, the battleground in enterprise software is shifting from features to usability”, said Scott Plewes, Macadamian VP of User Experience. “Enterprise users are no longer sitting at their desks working from 9 - 5. Enterprise software vendors must adapt the user experience of their products to deliver bottom line value in new user contexts.”    

Macadamian’s top five predictions for enterprise software are:

1.    Redesigning for the cloud
As enterprise software vendors race to build Software as a Service (SaaS) versions of their flagship products, they must take the opportunity to renew both the workflow and user design. Many will struggle to keep their solutions comfortably familiar for current users while luring customers to their new service. The key to success will be striking the delicate design balance between “fresh” and “familiar”.

2.    Mobile use
Enterprise software vendors will continue to respond to the increasing need to access applications using smartphones and tablets. These smaller screen devices present physical challenges to entering and presenting data as well as technical challenges specific to the mobile operating systems targeted. Successfully porting complex enterprise software to a wide range of mobile devices that will be used in non-traditional contexts remains an ongoing project for software vendors.

3.    Effective presentation of complex data analytics
While the volume of information within enterprises continues to grow, and the feature sets of data analytics software swell, enterprise software vendors must take new approaches to effectively organize and present the right data, at the right time, for the right task. Designs that elevate the actionable trends from within the analytical noise will distinguish the best solutions.

4.    Context-awareness
Enterprise software vendors must plan how their applications should work given a user’s unique state, social environment and tasks. Vendors must create software that is smarter about its users rather than relying on expert users to be smart about software. This includes the integration of social networks, presence and collaboration tools.

5.    Vertical market specialization
Vendors that have historically provided general-purpose applications must move towards vertical specialization of their software as the number of deployments in specific vertical markets such as healthcare, legal and accounting creates a critical mass of users. This will demand domain knowledge, familiarity with usability guidelines and expertise in relevant technical standards.

“Usability in enterprise software has lagged behind consumer software, slowing its adoption and reducing its anticipated ROI”, continued Mr. Plewes, “Closing this gap must be a competitive priority in 2012 for both enterprise software market leaders and their challengers.”

Based on its experience, Macadamian has prepared a series of whitepapers on usability strategies for enterprise software.

About Macadamian
Macadamian is a global leader in software product creation providing a complete range of product strategy, user experience design and software engineering services to clients around the world, including industry leaders like Sage, Microsoft, IBM, EMC, and Adobe. For established and emerging technologies and platforms, Macadamian has a track record of helping clients create successful products on a complete range of desktop, web and mobile platforms. Additional information is available at http://www.macadamian.com or by following Macadamian on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Press Inquires
Doug Michaelides, VP Marketing
dmichaelides(at)macadamian(dot)com
(613) 355 4181

Heather McCulligh, Media Relations
hmcculligh(at)rogers(dot)com
(613) 797 8949

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Doug Michaelides, VP Marketing
Macadamian
(613) 355 4181
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Heather McCulligh, Media Relations
Macadamian
(613) 797 8949
Email >