Why business technology needs to feel like consumer-grade technology

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In today’s digital age, the line between personal and professional technology, and indeed, our own personal and professional lives, is becoming increasingly blurred. Employees are no longer willing to settle for clunky, outdated business tools when they are accustomed to sleek, user-friendly consumer-grade technology in their day-to-day lives. As a result, business-to-business (B2B) applications are adapting to replicate business-to-consumer (B2C) models in their appearance and functionality.

As communicating increasingly takes the shape of taps, scrolls and swipes, this shift in expectation means businesses must look to adopt technology that feels more like the intuitive, engaging products consumers are used to. Here are three reasons why:

1. The modern day employee is digitally native

Consumer-grade technology is designed with the user in mind, focusing on simplicity, intuitiveness, and efficiency. There is no reason business technology should be any different. When employees use tools that mirror this level of user experience in their professional environment, it can lead to increased productivity and job satisfaction.

In businesses where technology mirrors the intuitive interfaces of consumer-grade technology, employees are more likely to embrace and engage with it willingly. With the proliferation of hybrid working meaning that the majority of employees are already using a range of devices and platforms interchangeably, both personally and professionally, replicating a similar experience in work channels will make the process of digital transformation much smoother.

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Applications such as MileIQ, which tracks mileage, are already highlighting the value of engaging with consumer-grade experience in both a personal and professional setting. At the end of any given time period, the user can look through all journeys and swipe right for business mileage, and swipe left for personal mileage, in an experience reminiscent of Tinder and other dating apps.

2. Business want employees to use their technology

One of the biggest challenges businesses face when implementing new technology is adoption. Employees are often resistant to change, especially when new tools are complicated or difficult to use. However, business apps with familiar features and interfaces can help overcome this resistance.

A seamless user experience reduces the learning curve, allowing employees to adapt quickly to new tools and processes. This, in turn, reduces training costs and reduces friction arising from the integration of new technologies into daily workflows, leading to a more positive and efficient work environment. Seamless, end-to-end data configurations can also speed up data-entry and processing tasks, and can form the basis of a personalized experience for consumers, or employees.

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Communication is also often a sticking point in the digital workplace, as employers may find it difficult to gain oversight of workflows. However, employees remain constantly connected in their personal lives, managing a seemingly-endless stream of texts, notifications and direct messages. Businesses can greatly improve communication in the workplace by replicating communication methods outside of work. By playing on muscle memory to answer personal notifications through technology and messaging applications, organizations can foster greater connections, facilitating collaboration and informing decision-making.

3. Good user experience can help retain talent

The modern employee expects the same level of convenience and functionality from their work tools as they do from their personal devices. However functionality, whilst important, is only one piece of the puzzle, with user experience playing an equally important role in B2B technology. Employees want to be able to access information easily, collaborate with colleagues seamlessly, and perform tasks efficiently, regardless of whether they are in the office or working remotely.

Businesses that fail to meet these expectations risk losing talent to competitors who offer a more modern and user-friendly work environment. Like consumer apps who want to increase the number of users to drive advertising or purchase revenue, businesses want to increase the number of users to improve efficiencies and productivity to realize a return on their investment. Through investing in technology that feels like consumer-grade technology, businesses can attract and retain top talent, keeping employees engaged and motivated, particularly when such advancements are holistically implemented to deliver learning, development and training, alongside workflow management.

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Ultimately, the need for business technology to feel like consumer-grade technology is more than just a trend, it’s a necessity for success in today’s competitive landscape. By prioritizing user experience, boosting adoption rates, driving innovation, and meeting employee expectations, businesses can create a more productive, efficient, and enjoyable work environment.

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This article was produced as part of TechRadarPro’s Expert Insights channel where we feature the best and brightest minds in the technology industry today. The views expressed here are those of the author and are not necessarily those of TechRadarPro or Future plc. If you are interested in contributing find out more here: https://www.techradar.com/news/submit-your-story-to-techradar-pro

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