Think about the term “intuitive experience.” What does it mean? In the context of using technology (which for most of us is our day to day lives), intuitive should mean that the enabling technology becomes invisible. It just works; we don’t even notice it, but we do notice that suddenly we’re more productive. Our jobs become more interesting or rewarding because technology is not only not in the way, it actually accelerates our efforts, enabling us to focus on core requirements (e.g., how to improve a process, build a better product or service, etc.).
The sad part is that we spend too much time grinding through poorly designed interfaces to accomplish our work, rather than focusing on what we were really hired to do. Presumably we are all experts at our jobs (hopefully), but how much time is that expertise truly unleashed, and how often is it hampered by a poorly designed interface?
I am fortunate enough to have been active in the workforce during a time when information technology really became the core driver of productivity across a broad range of industries. Telephones suddenly became mobile, making us far more accessible and therefore productive. Shortly thereafter the internet became consumerized, opening up a vast global potential, and shortly after that, mobile devices became web-enabled, and we suddenly had anytime/anywhere access to infinite knowledge.
During this process, a new class of workforce developed: the information worker, now an integral part of a new global digital ecosystem. The challenge is that something this vast develops organically and unevenly. A lot of the technology we take for granted is wildly complex, both in terms of what the user sees, and in what the application is trying to access.
The initial response to this complexity is known as “the consumerization of IT.” Initially driven by Apple’s iPhone, the trend started with everyone wanting to take their shiny object to work. But the main reason consumerization took off the way it did was that it offered what people really wanted: an intuitive experience. The consumer space for intuitive apps exploded, and shortly thereafter the enterprise space began to line up as well.
The challenge in the enterprise space is that the apps required to do our jobs don’t work like Angry Birds (unfortunately). They need to tap into a continuous stream of complex data housed in systems that were never meant to be accessed by thousands of portable devices. Navigating this framework requires two elements: an intuitive and compelling front end, and access to an industrialized back-end that should offer the same level of ease of use to IT support personnel that their business counterparts are enjoying.
This is one of the core elements now being introduced by BMC. We stepped into an intuitive business user interface with an elegant application called MyIT, which has had a staggering rate of adoption on a global basis (as a well-designed app should). We are now extending this experience deeper into the organization with the launch of Smart IT, which is effectively the consumerization of the industrial back-end.
Why does this matter? Because our presence is global, most of the world’s largest corporations run on our solutions, and anything we do has a broad and pervasive effect. It has been particularly gratifying to see large numbers of customers actually demanding the product, and when combined with MyIT, Smart IT provides an intuitive experience that can drive high speed innovation across the entire gamut of technology, from mainframe to cloud to mobile, while optimizing IT performance, cost, and productivity.