In our opinion, enterprise IT end users will have to make a substantial adjustment to successfully deliver on daily computing requirements through cloud options. For example, we, ourselves, make considerable use of both Salesforce.com and MS Dynamics CRM. In our experience with Salesforce.com, we find it necessary to open new browser tabs, almost endlessly. The lack of nested windows, for us, is quite inconvenient. We find ourselves losing our place within the interface. In order to re-orient ourselves, we end up wasting considerable time flipping from browser tab to browser tab.
While Dynamics CRM (with Internet Explorer 9.0 as the browser) does a much better job of nesting windows (clicking on any hotlink within a records view will spawn a new window), we still get lost. In contrast, with desktop applications like MS Outlook 2010, it is much easier to maintain one’s place as sub windows are kept to a smaller size. Further these sub windows are truly nested, which makes it much easier for us to see where we are in an operation.
We think average end users will be challenged by this type of computing. Therefore, we recommend that enterprise organizations planning to migrate core applications to cloud alternatives should plan on educating their communities of end users about the new computing realities well in advance of planned migrations. Further, we think that enterprise IT ISVs will have to do a better job of designing user interfaces. In fact, we think it is highly likely that user interfaces will be substantially modified over the next near term as ISVs and their customers collaborate on the design of a truly useful end user computing interface.
Of course, there is a substantial need for end user training as a means of facilitating a “softer landing” for end users within a new computing interface for cloud options. We have direct first hand experience speaking with enteprise organizations about end user training as one of our clients, Rehmani Consulting, Inc, offers unique training content for Microsoft SharePoint as well as a complete help system for SharePoint, VisualSP™.
We have spoken with hundreds of enterprises on the topic of end user training for SharePoint. Many understand the imperative, but a nearly equal number do not understand the value of training. We think this reality will prove to be true, and consistent, as enterprise organizations more broadly migrate over to cloud computing offers. Of course, we are very comfortable that the organizations most likely to benefit from these migrations will be those with the foresight to plan on end user training well in advance of actual migration dates to ensure the smoothest possible transition for end users.
© IMB Enterprises, Inc. & Ira Michael Blonder, 2012 All Rights Reserved