value proposition – the threshold

Again I find myself in lots of discussions about value propositions. This time in the context of Enterprise software. The same rule holds.

A person will start to use software when using it is easier than not using it.

In the case of Enterprise software, sometimes “easier” can be a little different – like its absolutely required or you won’t get paid. But basically, there are 2 things you can do to tip the balance. The first is to do something so valuable, that people want to use it. The second is to do something so much easier than people can do it now, that people will use it. This kind of means that the less you offer the easier it must be to do it, or conversely, the more you offer, the more people will put up with.

Enterprise software is a little different – the people who use the software are rarely the people who bought it. People use it because they’re told to, or because its the only way to get certain information. So enterprise software companies haven’t bothered to make the tools easy to use, and integrators, like SAP, Accenture, etc., don’t help that situation much.

The good news is that its slowly changing. People who use enterprise software are also consumers, and their expectation is that stuff should work. Good work, software dudes. 15 years ago all software sucked. Now, most consumer software’s pretty usable. Our expectations have been raised, and the enterprise is next.

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