News/Trends, Tech/Engineering

ILLUMINATE15: The Growing Influence Of User Experience On IT Success

One big theme that kept surfacing from the sessions at ILLUMINATE15 is the growing importance of user experience when it comes to IT’s technology roadmap. Not only does it influence which solutions are selected, it also affects how IT is perceived by employees.

Thanks to the consumerization of cloud applications, it’s not uncommon that end users are expecting the same experience from their enterprise applications as the ones they use in their daily lives. If the enterprise solutions don’t deliver the experience end users want, they will find their own workarounds to stay productive — causing a potential security nightmare. Jay Anderson, CIO of ServiceNow, describes it best: “Everyone in the cloud business can get (the company) pregnant, but IT ends up raising all the kids.”


According to Anderson, no matter what app or solution you end up selecting, compliance and security are a must. As solutions are explored and vetted, growing and scaling the business should also be considered in parallel — meaning IT should be part of the business growth discussions, not just an afterthought. “IT is our homie, we always bring them to the party.” For example, at ServiceNow, all their new employees are compliance-ready from day one (with Druva inSync) thanks to a collaborative effort to consider technical and legal needs across all departments and creating a comprehensive data-protected ecosystem for their employees. The ease of use and getting set up has helped his IT organization foster a more positive reputation among the end users, because they don’t have to say no.

Solutions aside, what about BYOD user experiences?


One observation that Jim Kimmel, Client Productivity Services Manager at Zoetis, shared at the “What today’s organizations are doing to address the mobile workforce” panel, was the increasing number of devices his employees were carrying around, on average three: two mobile phones and a laptop. The secret to successful adoption of a BYOD policy is the seamless experience between devices that doesn’t negatively impact productivity. “How do we reduce the number of devices they have to carry? It’s important we keep them productive and reduce the cost of supporting them, but we also have to secure the data.”

It is an 80:20 mix of iOS to Android users at Continental Automotive. “Our users are using different devices but expecting the same experience,” shares panelist Razvan Tudose, Head of Client Services at Continental Automotive. With legacy solutions, it used to be years between releases but today the frequency is much higher and IT has to learn how to scale their support for these users and those changes. But not all changes are accepted by IT. “Nobody wants (BYOD) the way IT wants it. We work with a lot of compliance and regulations that are enforced strictly.”

Armin Sturm, Head of Client Services at Flex, shares that one of his biggest IT headaches is shadow IT because if end users don’t like what applications IT offers, they will find workarounds. “We listen to our users [for input] now to avoid the bad user experience.” He’s observed mobile devices have become a user’s primary device, followed by laptops, and in his experience, mobile device management (MDM) has become more than just MDM, it has become identity management, understanding who has access where and to what.

The magic formula is to have solutions in place for data visibility (for IT) in a way that still provides a seamless user experience for the end users. Someday in a not-too-distant future, according to the panelists, the mobile experience will be streamlined across the board with frictionless transition from device to device.

Has user experience become a deciding factor on how you choose cloud apps in addition to the compliance and security it offers? What are some other challenges that modern CIOs face? Check out the report below: