UK business should learn from consumer tech, says report
Business software that is difficult to use is costing UK firms an estimated £64bn a year, equivalent to 2.8 billion wasted hours, according to a new report by e-document and printing software vendor Global Graphics.
The majority (77%) of respondents said they found business software difficult to use, citing too much functionality and a lack of training as their primary concerns. The survey found that workers want software developers to put more effort into making their products easier to use.
UK workers find consumer technology such as iPods, digital TV and games consoles much easier to use than office applications.
Gary Fry, CEO of Global Graphics, said that business software developers could learn a lot from the consumer space. “Organisations invest millions on training their employees how to use business software. Yet employees are using Facebook, MySpace, iPhones and digitalising their music without any training at all.
“Consumer technology companies make money by attracting as many users as possible and that means making products easy to use. By making business software as easy to use as consumer technology, employees are more efficient and less frustrated while companies benefit from lower training costs and higher productivity,”
Unintuitive software is costing 69% of UK workers up to an hour a week, while 23% claim to be losing up to five hours every week. According to Global Graphics, this equates to £64bn a year in lost revenue. An average of 111 minutes is wasted every week, which represents 5.1% of the working week. 5% of the UK’s 2008 GDP works out at £63.758bn.
Fry said: “The warning to developers of business software is clear; take a leaf out of the consumer world and make your software easier to use. Make sure it quickly and easily does exactly what the user wants, and focus on that instead of adding more and more features and functions that only a handful of ‘power-users’ will ever need.”