We talked to two ECM experts from OPTIMAL SYSTEMS about trends in software development and the IT market. Dr. Nikola Milanovic, Business Unit Manager for Product Development and Gregor Wolf, Business Unit Manager for Product Management both agree: software has to be fun.

OPTIMAL SYSTEMS has taken a completely new approach in terms of usability, integration, and mobility with the new enaio® version. What will development be like in the future? Where are the main focuses?

Dr. Nikola Milanovic: I basically see two main focuses: software usability and enterprise-wide digital information usage. In the digitized world of work, it’s important that the flow of information is maintained – regardless of the place of work and working hours. Simple and consistent access to information is not only important but increasingly taken for granted. Only company-wide use of data and digital documents creates real added value. This is a challenge for an ECM system because it has to be deeply integrated into the IT environment – this is why integration has always been an important topic for OPTIMAL SYSTEMS. With enaio® the work is fun, and it has become smoother, easier, and more mobile. We’ll keep moving in this direction.

Dr. Milanovic,
Head of Product Development

For some time, discussion in the IT world has generally been dominated by topics like big data, mobility, social media, and the cloud. How relevant are these from your point of view for the ECM segment?

Gregor Wolf,
Head of Product Management

Gregor Wolf: You could also add the Internet of Things and Industry 4.0 to that list. The first isn’t particularly relevant for us, as we can’t contribute anything to the wearables trend – unlike Industry 4.0, which is the networking of devices and information sources. As a company-wide information system, an ECM must be effectively integrated into the networked and distributed information sources. For me, mobility seems to be the most important issue right now – even in the ECM world. This is a topic that suits us well: the aim of our ECM software is to enable company-wide and location-independent use of information – even on the move.

Dr. Nikola Milanovic: We’re experiencing the digital transformation. Technology is more present in our lives than ever before. Digitalization is shaping our lives more and more and is the big innovation driver of the economy. An important aspect when talking about trends is the generation change that’s taking place. It’s not only in our industry where we can see that the decision makers and software users have grown up with technology (digital natives) and view software differently from before: in the way they handle software and their expectations in terms of usability. The social networks have fundamentally changed the perception of technology and how it interacts with software. Therefore, a change is taking place: user experience is gaining importance.

Gregor Wolf: It’s true. That’s why usability is not a trend, but a must.

What makes good software – perhaps usability?

Dr. Nikola Milanovic: Good software is easy to use, enables collaboration, and is always available.

Gregor Wolf: Software has to be fun. Only then does the user like to use it. And if you like to use something, it becomes indispensable over time and you want to do more with it.

To be continued in part 2 of this interview