Preventing Shadow IT: Tips for Designing Better Enterprise Apps

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Benchmark Against the Best 

Benchmark against the best apps, regardless of categories.

Take note of popular and trending apps. Whether it's a social network, content app, retail app or something completely different, users are gravitating to this product for a reason. Does it have an out-of-the-box design? Does it require two-factor authentication? What makes you like it? Take all those observations, and make your app better than the others.

Enterprise apps have been coloring "inside the lines" for a long time and looking only to competitors as a point of reference. Instead, enterprise apps should follow and then exceed the benchmark for design and usability of consumer apps. Consumer apps don't require a training manual, so why should they in the enterprise? Enterprise apps should build on the foundation of cutting-edge consumer apps (like Facebook Paper and Flipboard). Employees won't use apps at work if they're not easy, simple and intuitive.

Enterprise software has traditionally been focused on IT management and controls – not user experience. Usually they are heavy on features but light on any visual appeal. Thankfully, this is changing. Inspired by Apple and others in consumer electronics, enterprise vendors are putting more emphasis on design in their software – both via desktop/laptop and mobile devices.

For EMC Syncplicity, design is a security issue. If users are dissatisfied with their UX, they often will migrate to less secure "shadow IT" service, which puts an entire company at risk of security incidents.

Here are five key tips in designing intuitive, delightful apps that still meet the rigorous criteria of enterprise IT departments.


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