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Fixing the Enterprise App

Fixing the Enterprise App

The current disparity in software design is kind of funny when you think about it — at least if you’re a fan of dark comedies. The applications we rely on for personal tasks like ordering pizza, hailing cabs, or finding local movie times are slick and intuitive. They’re continuously refined based on written and data-driven user feedback. Yet, the enterprise software supporting Fortune 500 companies and running critical control systems —the stuff company profits, jobs, and lives depend on — is often clunky, prone to crashing and runs on obsolete technologies. How did we end up here? And more importantly, how do we fix the enterprise app? It’s not surprising consumer applications are leading the way in design. Build an unfriendly consumer app, and watch the competition eat your lunch. In effect, the consumer tech world is Darwin’s Galapagos Islands, where only the fittest remain relevant. “Enterprise apps are a different beast,” says Thomas Murphy, principal application developer at ADP’s Innovation Lab. “Companies, especially larger ones, have historically purchased...

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