Friday, 27 November 2015 10:24

Design 'critical' for business software says CEO


"[Design] is beyond important - it's critical," Infor CEO Charles Phillips told iTWire.

The business software industry has twigged that user interfaces that have hardly progressed from the 'green screen' days are no longer acceptable or viable - see, for example, Oracle ramps up UX efforts.

And iTWire has previously reported on Infor's Hook & Loop design studio.

Phillips's view is that better design results in software being used more often and by more people. Most of the executives that fund SAP in their organisations never use it, he observes. Instead, tasks are delegated to power users.

He argues that all employees should be users of enterprise software, so it should provide a compelling experience to counter the way their expectations are rising thanks to the widespread use of consumer technology.

Younger people will simply refuse to use outdated software, Phillips says, so "we're building apps for the younger generation... time is not on our side."

Modern software provides an opportunity to make people smarter by delivering the data they need in a usable form, and more collaborative by providing simple and convenient channels, he says. And that should lead to better decisions.

"It's not that people don't want to collaborate, it's just that there's no construct for doing so," Phillips told iTWire.

So Infor's Ming.le provides a way of exposing unstructured processes, makes more information available to more people, and promotes transparency within the organisation.

"It changes the culture too. People feel closer to the company if they know what's going on."

Disclosure: The writer attended Inforum Europe as a guest of Infor

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Stephen Withers

Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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