Application Overload for End Users
I have been seeing a trend in requests from IT and business users to solve a critical issue in most organizations: The Plague of Windows. We have all seen it, and definitely experienced it. How many application windows do you need to have open to get your work done during the day? Are you copying and pasting, flipping back and forth between apps? Entering data multiple times, in multiple applications? Referencing data in one app to accomplish a task in another? So I asked myself, why now? Why has this started to become a critical issue? Below are the reasons as I see them:
- The rise of cloud based Software as a Service (SaaS) – platforms like Salesforce, Workday, Box, Dropbox, Office 365 and others have revolutionized the way we conduct our daily work lives, and given us anywhere access to our information. Unfortunately, when it comes to integrating them with on premise apps, getting them to talk to each other, and sharing data and UI information is absolutely painful. In essence, we have complicated the always present application “silo” issue, and required heavy custom development for true integration. Most organizations avoid the pain, or create difficult to manage one-off apps to solve niche problems.
- Niche/specialty applications are on the rise – every day, I am involved in discussions with IT management and execs that are pondering the ever-present issue in the IT landscape – Do I buy the specialty app for my problem? The burgeoning start-up ecosystem has created amazing applications that fix focused issues. Want to provide field inspectors with an inspection tool? Need to create and manage CapEx requests? Looking for expense management? There are specific apps for all those key areas, but when you buy them, you create another silo, another set of data, and another barrier to dissolve.
- The plethora of data – Ok, there is my $20 word 😉 We have more data today available to us than ever before. Organizations are leveraging reports and information from all systems to make informed decisions, create strategy and just get there work done. Access to this data is usually accomplished through the system of record, or through, yet another, application for reporting.
So how do we fix this? The first step is to solve the data problem, which requires a data integration bus technology (An example is K2’s smartobject layer) . This can facilitate the creation of this “data foundation”, providing access to all your systems . Once we have access to the information, now we need a consolidated, dynamic UI to surface the data to the end-user. This unified interface provides all the necessary information at-a-glance, eliminating the plague or windows, and improving productivity and adding immense efficiency.
Below is a quick video overview of how K2 “no code” technology can solve these app aggregation issues: