Technology & Innovation

IFS Report on Buying Software

Itasca, IL – IFS, a global enterprise applications company, recently released a primary research study that shows a strong relationship between usability of industrial companies’ enterprise software and their readiness for digital transformation. The study surveyed 200 industrial users of enterprise resource planning (ERP), field service management (FSM), enterprise asset management (EAM), and other types of enterprise software in North America.

Digital transformation is difficult when companies can’t make enterprise software conform to changing business models.

Key findings of the study include:

  • In many companies, ERP still stands for Excel Runs Production. Faced with poor software usability, 88% of respondents would abandon enterprise software for disconnected spreadsheets, defeating the purpose of an enterprise application.
  • There is a strong correlation between usability and digital transformation. Respondents who said their enterprise software prepared them for digital transformation, for instance, were 400% more likely to say their enterprise software was very easy to use.
  • Software usability can affect employee retention among experienced staff. Almost 46% of the important middle age demographic surveyed would consider changing jobs due to poor enterprise software usability.

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IFS chief technical officer in North America Rick Veague said, “Usability is much deeper than a graphical user interface. The underlying architecture of the

application must be amenable to supporting agility. Putting a fancy interface on enterprise software that fundamentally cannot deliver agile processes does not deliver real usability. Respondents who said their software did a poor job preparing them for digital transformation were 28% more likely to want their software vendor to make it easier to align their software with their business. So in a software selection process, it is important to ask software vendors to demonstrate their ability to support different business processes, modes of manufacturing and encompass different sites that do different things all in the same business solution.”

IFS vice president of marketing in North America Steve Andrew said, “Before we can be understood, we must first understand. Conducting research like this is one way we at IFS can ensure we are successfully addressing the needs of the complex industrial organizations we serve. Sharing this research lets us be go-givers, helping companies facing digital transformation understand the current state of the market.”