Over the Thanksgiving Holiday I did a lot of thinking about what the future looks like for software as it relates to services provided to clients. I am lucky enough to work at a cutting edge software development firm that constantly looks to innovate what it is that we provide to customers. This notion was again brought to my attention when I read an article on Microsoft’s Quarterly results. In the article, one of the conclusions was, “The company is increasingly focusing on the enterprise’s needs in a more integrated way as the company continues to increase/improve its Cloud and Data Center offerings integration.” To me, I read this as Microsoft is focusing on the enterprises as a whole, and how to fulfill the needs of customers who are shifting from licensing software to hardware neutral solutions and integrating platforms.
Cloud and Data Center integration make it possible for people to work from anywhere, but how does a company make this appealing to their employees and customize that experience? I think the answer is that it is up to companies to develop experiences that is customized to their employees. This service has a large amount of value as it essentially “consumerizes” employees to a point. For example, how many times have you been on a website and a personalized ad pops up on the border of your browser? Those ads are derived from data that you have put on there, i.e. web searches, purchases, internet history, etc. Companies can harness the same power by looking at the work flows of their employees and personalizing their experiences through cloud services such as O365 Home Premium and how they are navigating those solutions. If an employer is able to customize their employees experience while they are working remotely, I believe that productivity would increase and you would have much happier workers.
In the future of providing services to enterprise software, we must tune in and listen to what our customers needs are and how best to deliver these services. Creating an innovative and intuitive experience is paramount but also keeping the end user in mind and their preferences should be integrated as well.