This blog post is the continuation of “Software Has To Be Fun (Part 1)”
Every year IT insiders and market research companies meet to debate future trends and key areas of development. We’ve discussed this with Dr. Nikola Milanovic, Business Unit Manager for Product Development, and Gregor Wolf, Business Unit Manager for Product Management.
What makes good software – is it usability?
Milanovic: Good software is easy-to-use, it enables collaboration, and is always available.
Wolf: Software has to be fun. Only then will the user enjoy it. And if you enjoy using something, it becomes indispensable over time and you want to do more things with it.
Does the same thing apply to mobile apps?
Milanovic: Sure, they need to be easy-to-use and “sexy” too. Mobile apps also have to be constructed so they’re platform and device independent.
Yes, that’s absolutely critical. That’s why we have a good product and even an edge over our competitors. Our mobile enaio® apps run on iOS and Android and the enaio® web client runs on a wide range of devices. It’s essential that mobile apps can be used on different devices in different locations by different people at different times. This is the expectation that people have when they approach us. People want to take their work with them, so mobile working simply has to “work”. When I’m working on a presentation in the office on a desktop computer and take it with me to a meeting, a read only function is of little use if I want to change something shortly before the presentation.
This kind of deficient functionality is the kind of thing that’s behind phrases like “that’s of no use to anyone”. If people are carrying documents and data around with them, it’s because they need them and want to complete certain things in another location. The emphasis here is on “certain” because nobody wants to use the full range of functions of an ECM on a cellphone. But this person still has to be able to revise a document, store it safely, and forward it. And that’s possible with our solution.
Milanovic: I’d like to stress the importance of usability and simplicity. To illustrate this, imagine that you’re working on a desktop computer. Then you get up and take your tablet on your way to the meeting and can continue working. You don’t need to save, forward, or send any documents somewhere separately. You don’t event need to search for the document in the app. You just continue working. Whatever the device and whatever the location. Just like that. That’s the stage we’d like to reach.
BITKOM ranks ECM among the top 10 of important topics for 2015. How will the ECM market continue to develop?
Milanovic: The number of inquiries is increasing, the number of projects is growing, and the tasks to be solved are getting more sophisticated. Enterprise Content Management is booming and that’s great. People aren’t just asking for “a bit of ECM, please”. They’ve got digitalization projects in specialized areas and they’re looking for highly flexible and easy-to-use software. Our job when we’re consulting is to make it clear that what they’re looking for is an ECM system. The fact that ECM technology is useful for other challenges besides the digitization of paper and for other business areas is increasingly being recognized more quickly and used.
Wolf: We’re pleased that ECM systems are continuing to gain ground. There are various reasons for this. One is that market penetration is not complete. It’s not the case by a long stretch that all companies where there’s a large document volume are using an electronic document management solution – and I’m talking only of elementary DMS applications, not an ECM suite.
The catch-up that’s needed in paperless workflows is still very big in many sectors. But we see the biggest demand in the industrial sector. Just a quarter of businesses in this sector use software for ECM or DMS.
Milanovic: People will stop looking for ECM and turn their attention instead to solutions for specific requirements for the digitization of information. We will offer answers and software, and carefully explain that our enaio® ECM software is not only a short-term solution but a long-term concept for using information company-wide. And here I expect that in 2015 more businesses and public bodies will recognize that digital knowledge is the raw material of the future.