The most significant factor contributing to dissatisfaction with enterprise applications? IT doesn’t involve end users in critically evaluating the user interface before — and after — the software is acquired and installed.
An exemplary enterprise user comment from Joe Fusco, an executive of a $600 million US corporation, “I’m an executive in a really big company who’s so ticked at our enterprise tools that I go consistently outside the system to folks like 37signals (Basecamp, etc.) in order to get things done quickly, easily and cost-effectively (OK, OK…cheaply!)”
SAP’s new Netweaver composition plaform could help make big strides with the user community and gain better utilization (read: ROI) of our enterprise IT infrastructure investment, but only if this problem is corrected.
SAP recogizes sees the functionality gap as a business opportunity: *”Traditionally, our software solutions touched only a small group of users within our customers, including their IT and accounting professionals. Information workers, identified as those who are detached from enterprise processes and who rely on others for data retrieval, are not currently leveraging corporate assets resident in enterprise applications. We are bringing new products to address the needs of information workers who wish to take advantage of enterprise information. Examples of such products include Duet and SAP xApp Analytics.”*
[(source: SAP 20k)](http://www.sec.gov/cgi-bin/browse-edgar?CIK=0001000184&action=getcompany)
In order for these new contextual applications to be effective, they must be adopted by large user segments which weren’t previously engaged. The apps will be new, and everyone will have to be trained. These are not traditional tools of IT technology professionals – change management challenges our skill set.
“So the solution to having to use bad tools at work isn’t to merely shrug your shoulders and complain about it — the answer is to get even more ambitious, raise your standards, and start using software that’s both a delight to work with and proven to help build your business” – [Anil Dash](http://www.movabletype.com/blog/2007/10/no-enterprise-software-doesnt.html), Movable Type
Enterprise architects must leverage the user community to bring this vision to a reality – or it will become IT driven trophy which looks good on the wall to executives, but doesn’t improve the penetration into the corporate user community. The analytics don’t do anything for us if we can’t change user behavior, and that means a planned program of measured engagement.
Read Sphere Related to [Enterprise Applications](http://www.sphere.com/search?q=enterprise+applications&datedrop=7&lang=all&sortby=rel).