4 Ways Business App Devs Can Leverage Consumerization

It’s become clear over the past several years that the consumerization of IT isn’t going away as employees adopt new software and hardware for their own personal use, then introduce it into their companies.

Offic Water Cooler FunFor enterprise app developers, the idea that consumer apps are infiltrating their domain may seem a bit frightening. But that’s the wrong attitude. Instead, why not glom onto the features that make consumer apps so desirable and apply them to the enterprise?

Leyla Seka, Salesforce.com’s vice president of AppExchange and partner operations, has an insightful post on VentureBeat where he lays out four ways enterprise app developers can learn from their consumer brethren.

  1. Create Anywhere, Any Device, Single-Sign On Apps. That’s part of the secret sauce that Candy Crush used to make its game so popular. “Play a few minutes on the website” and “a few more on the bus on the way to work,” one of its developers told BuzzFeed.
  2. Users Just Want to Have Fun – Even in the Enterprise. Say the word “enterprise” and the tone of the conversation can get deadly serious. Boring. As in the consumer world, user engagement is important in the enterprise. Tools such as gamification and social media tie-ins are ways to get there.
  3. Internet of Things Revamps the Water Cooler. Consumer apps are turning refrigerators into Internet-connected devices. Enterprise apps can do the same thing. Ever think of what the water cooler could become in the corporate office? In his post, Seka notes that enterprise app developers can “get creative and take advantage of open APIs to build apps that will reinvent how companies connect with their customers, employees and partners to drive business success.”
  4. Check Out Customer Reviews. How many enterprise app developers take the extra step to dig into the end user’s thinking? As Seka observes, more than half of the purchases for business applications begin with users checking out reviews posted on the Internet as part of their research. It pays to not only check out reviews for your app, but also articles on your competitors. Complaints that your competing apps lack certain features could prove a win if you add them into your product.

The takeaway: It’s time for enterprise app developers to embrace consumerization, that way it will originate from the inside out – rather than infiltrating from the outside in.

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