3 Reasons Why a Strong UX is Critical for a Strong CX

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There’s a solution to every technology challenge under the sun. As such, enterprises have adopted a ‘more is better’ philosophy. While it’s tempting to try every new, shiny tool or application on the market, this has led to an unfortunate trend. Spoilt for choice, organizations too often end up with a rolodex of siloed tools. Rather than the intended outcome of making work and business better, this approach just complicates matters.

Strained IT teams and dwindling tech budgets aren’t the only downside. Multiple applications and processes can hinder workers’ ability to do their jobs. Jumping between too many systems and interfaces stifles productivity. It can also lead to workarounds and insecure practices to simply carry out daily responsibilities. Not only does this hurt morale, and thus, innovation, but it can also leave businesses vulnerable.

If your employees are suffering with user experience (UX) issues brought on by app fatigue, your customers will too. Perhaps not so apparently in the near term, but instead, compounding over time. New research from Gradient Flow sheds light on some of the challenges plaguing knowledge workers in the identity space, and much of it is applicable to the broader tech and software industries.

Here are some of the key takeaways from the report—and what business leaders can do to ensure their UX isn’t harming their customer experience (CX).

1.) Companies Invest in too Many Siloed Solutions

A majority (54%) of survey respondents with IT job functions indicated that they work with several vendors for security functions alone. It’s common for businesses to work with multiple vendors to address business challenges, but leaders should consider where they can consolidate. In the instance of security, speed is of the utmost importance, whether it’s in response to a breach or granting and removing access for new and former employees. Toggling between multiple systems is a sure way to slow things down and get users frustrated. This can lead to IT downtime, unnecessary mistakes being made, and worst, taking away the focus on customer-facing projects.

2.) Jumping Between Apps is Killing Productivity

Companies have adopted new technology to resume in-office work with remote and distributed teams. As a result, employees are spending more time switching between software applications than ever before. Of respondents with IT job functions, 45% expected a high productivity boost from using fewer applications or systems. It’s not just technical personnel, either—41% of all respondents felt the same. Research shows that for each extra task a person switches between, 20–80% of overall productivity is lost. To reduce context switching, leaders should evaluate additional functionality within their existing tech stack and automate all tasks possible. After all, less productive employees mean less time for product innovation, evolution, and improvements to CX.

Fewer apps lead to productivity gains
Survey respondents expected a high productivity boost from using fewer applications and systems.

3.) Best-of-Breed Solutions are Not the Answer

While best-of-breed solutions that address singular tech woes have their place, organizations are turning to ITSM and business platforms to solve their tech troubles. Buying multiple tools is simply not a sustainable or effective method as the internet evolves and new tech needs emerge. This is why 47% of respondents surveyed already use ITSM/workforce management platforms to govern application permissions and entitlements. This approach eliminates challenges with UX and context-switching by providing users with a familiar interface, enabling them to perform better. It also streamlines data from across an organization, giving IT leaders greater visibility into what’s going on within their walls. Keeping operations optimal on the inside leads to better experiences on the outside.

What’s Next?

Between multiple vendors, regular context switching, and the long-held belief that best-of-breed solutions are the answer, it’s no surprise that UX topped the list of challenges of those surveyed. In fact, nearly half of respondents indicated that identity solutions need to provide better interfaces and allow people to work productively and securely. Cost was a top concern for small companies—yet another reason why investing in too many solutions can harm rather than help your business.

The good news is that many organizations have no choice but to do more with what they have. By extending functionality within current systems, employees are already familiar with the interfaces, requiring minimal to no training. This also frees up IT teams to carry out more meaningful work. The benefits of this are two-fold: your employees will have what they need to succeed, and your customers will feel the impact of that, improving morale and the bottom line in the process.

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