Four Trends that are Changing Small Business Software
From power user to useful to everyone
In the past fifteen years, technology has changed drastically. Originally, most programs and applications created for businesses tended to not be very user friendly and so full of features that they were difficult to use. Many hours were spent on training, yet there were still businesses with only one or two employees with the knowledge to run the programs with any efficiency.
Today, however, many consumers are familiar with the basic applications necessary to get online and businesses would be losing an edge by ignoring that fact. The rise of a multitude of devices capable of performing equally as fast as most desktop computers is forcing software companies to refine their products. Modern business software now looks and works exactly like many user friendly applications capable of running on every device from smart phones to personal computers. These consumer friendly trends are pushing a revolution in business software design. Software with adaptable interfaces, real-time networking options and shared knowledge management systems will serve to help business leap ahead of the competition.
1. Adaptability of User Interface
Use the same software for work and home
The current trend in business software is to allow the same tools to be available for home as well as professional use. A reasonably easy to use interface over many operating systems is now absolutely necessary in the business world. It should perform as equally well on a tablet as it does a home computer. The functions of the program should not be dependent on the place of use.
Many people use programs such as Evernote and Dropbox to organize their professional as well as their personal lives. Businesses will find applications such as these to offer the same ease of use for their needs at they offer the individual.
2. Face to Face in Real Time
A remote workforce as powerful as any home-base team
Many companies now support remote employees that work from their homes or even their cars. Business software companies have been hard pressed in the past to develop interfaces that can be accessed from anywhere, but this is no longer than case. Sit-down meetings are taking on more unique characteristics than ever before thanks to the development of programs like Skype.
More people than ever before are using their mobile devices as working tools. The forward thinking software designer, such as Slack, recognizes this trend and responds by developing programs like real-time chat. This is a start, though certainly more programs will be called for in the future.
Document sharing programs, such as Google Docs and eXo Platform both allow multiple users access to files and slide shows from anywhere. eXo Platform also allows users to share documents, tasks and other information across a network simply by logging in.
3. Benefiting from Others’ Experiences
Getting ahead by sharing knowledge
Since a large part of business is knowledge, of the product, of the clientele, the idea of shared knowledge is not such a new one. Business software designers are studying the potential usage for customer support and employee training through collective knowledge.
Well-known companies such as Quora and Yelp allow consumers to learn from other people’s experiences with restaurants, stores and even car washes. The future is wide open for the software company capable of designing a program or application that can adapt this type of information for business use.
4. The Outside Should Match the Inside
Seamless barriers between customer service reps and clients
In many modern businesses, the systems used by the employees and the systems accessed by the consumer are completely different. For example, businesses may run one type of software for their daily work load while the customer logs into a different program altogether to access their personal account information.
The differences between the two applications lead directly to long wait times, customer frustration and lessen the overall effectiveness of the business in the first place. Trying to help a customer with technological issues may be a nightmare from this perspective. It is certainly a way to lose the very business an enterprise is trying to grow. Software designers, then, are offered the challenge of producing business programs with similar features for both the customers and the employees attempting to help them.
By keeping these four ideas in mind, the enterprising software developer will be able to offer businesses all of the online and offline tools they desire, along with smooth interfacing and adaptable tools useful for the home-based or remote employee. Thankfully, the days of the unwieldy, overly featured programming is gone, blown away by the studies and application of consumer technology trends.
From the Author:
Kudos for checking out my post.
I enjoy blogging about business and leadership subjects. I’m an entrepreneur basically, and get a charge out of companies who desire to grow enterprises and contribute to the economy.
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