6 Ways To Consumerize IT Without Dumbing Down

Here's how to make enterprise software more user-friendly without reducing its capability and security.

using more up-to-date technologies than you might have been able to provide. In some cases, BYOD policies have even resulted in decreased hardware costs, since they shift the cost of the device to the employee.

The important thing to note about BYOD policies is that they require trade-offs. Even though they can increase workflows and decrease costs, they also require increased security efforts and demand platform flexibility.

4. Keep on innovating
The paradigm has shifted to the point where enterprise software is now taking its innovation cues from consumer software. But businesses can still be innovators.

As recent platforms like Asana, Box, and Domo show, the enterprise can benefit immensely from trends in consumer software. But copy-pasting features from the latest popular apps won't cut it. It's more important to look at how these trends are connecting people with their peers, their data, and their work—and then move on from there.

By distilling recent consumer trends down to the intrinsic value they provide, you can innovate your own IT in a way that streamlines your workflows without dumbing them down.

5. Plug in multiple platforms
Excel is for spreadsheets, Outlook is for email, and Word is for word processing.

While it's great to have a sense of specialization in software, the newest wave of workplace IT is seeking to knock down the barriers between different software programs. The popular new communication platform Slack, for instance, might look like a simple chat tool, but its real strength comes in its platform integration. By allowing users to send anything from Google Drive files, to comments from Twitter, to in-line SoundCloud links, Slack is catering to the way that people work by streamlining content sharing.

By integrating multiple platforms in one place, you can simplify employee workflows in a way that doesn't compromise the integrity of your software on an individual level.

6. Find better ways to connect your employees
One of the most important parts of an efficient workflow is smooth interaction between team members. Some of the most successful workplace programs have been Chatter and Yammer, which strive to increase productivity by making business more social. While they might have their roots in consumer social networks like Facebook, these programs show how much room for innovation is still left for collaboration in the workplace.

Adding more features is an admirable goal, but ultimately, the best software prioritizes employee workflows over raw specs. The consumerization trend is all about cutting the fat and increasing accessibility without sacrificing usability. And regardless of whether or not BYOD or social platforms are right for your business, the consumerization trend has a wealth of ideas for anyone hoping to improve their enterprise software.

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