The nexus of the cloud, social media, mobile and big data will drive business apps to be more like consumer apps. How will you deliver these next-generation business apps? Will you build a brick wall around development or welcome user input? Some IT managers say they spend their jobs today preventing people from creating their own apps. But that’s the wrong way to think about the future.
Sooner, rather than later, feedback from your users will drive the next best things coming out of your applications. Your developers will need to care about the user experience. You’ll need to provide upgrades and cool new features for your business apps pretty much all the time. Application success will be measured based on usage—whether or not business people are using your application.
Make sure you’re ready for this culture change. Val Sribar of Gartner advised companies to prepare now by cleaning up IT. Get smart about what you keep and get rid of. That means:
- Virtualize a lot of things—move to the cloud where you can.
- Refine your processes and make them consistent. Be smart about how you do things.
- Get to a reasonable mix of staffing—decide what skills you need internally and externally.
- Decide which applications and information your business really needs.
Reduce what you can now to make way for the future state of your business—your future employees, customers and suppliers. Ask if the assets your business has now will work the way your business will want to work in the future. Consider what you should tolerate, invest in, migrate or eliminate. If your business wants to buy something new, suggest what will go away. It’s all part of the clean-up.