The next wave of enterprise apps: Effortless and smart

By boris, February 16, 2016

We’ve all talked about the consumerization of enterprise apps for several years. Yet while it’s been a popular trend, there still aren’t many enterprise apps out there that can rival the user experience of the best consumer ones. Most enterprise apps are still plagued with clunky, form-driven interfaces; require too much data entry from the user; and don’t offer much in the way of automation.

There’s a big opportunity to create enterprise apps that are just as easy and enjoyable to use as consumer apps. The next wave in enterprise software will be driven by two criteria: effortless and smart:

Effortless

Better interfaces can drive a more effortless experience for users. Some enterprise apps can benefit from adopting a conversational-style/chat UI. For example, And Co, an invoicing app for freelancers, does a really good job of helping their users take care of administrative tasks in a fast and efficient way through a chat interface.

But, the best interface is no interface at all as artificial intelligence can make data entry unnecessary.

TripIt is still one of the best ways to create a thorough travel schedule by simply forwarding your booking emails. There’s no reason why expense management can’t be as easy: give an app access to your credit card statements and calendar, and it should be able to churn out a nearly perfect expense report for you.

There are hundreds of tasks within every department of a large enterprise that are completely repetitive and could be automated by a bot. We are already seeing some bots emerge on Slack to tackle these repetitive tasks. For example, bots can take care of asking for weekly status reports, or creating and sending out meeting notes. There’s a really interesting opportunity for apps on the Slack platform to use chat and data automation to create effortless experiences.

Smart

RelateIQ (now SalesforceIQ) was an early attempt at creating a CRM that not only stored customer information, but also offered smart insights for whom to reach out to and when.

The new generation of enterprise apps will differentiate themselves by both the quality and speed of their insights. We’ll see smart be real-time. For example, Textio is a service that uses AI to uncover key phrases and spots gender bias as you type your job description.

For any entrepreneurs thinking about this space… there’s a great opportunity here. However, machine learning and AI will only work once you reach a certain scale. This makes it all the more important to create an effortless experience and a strong use case to attract users. Your app needs to eat up enough data to become smart (and thus, make things even more effortless).

  • Chris Liew

    Very insightful. Effortless and Smart, these are exactly the same I thought when I founded http://www.aerolly.com.

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