According to an October 2013 commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of EffectiveUI, only 39 percent of business decision makers believe their internal IT organizations have the ability to regularly deliver projects on time and on budget. A survey of IT leaders points to a number of obstacles as the top reasons they struggle to keep up, including complexity of projects and silos within their organization:
- 56 percent cite ever-changing business and user requirements
- 50 percent say they are trying to do too much at once
- 34 percent believe they lack clear executive direction
- 34 percent point to a lack of the right development talent
- 32 percent cite a lack of stakeholder consensus
One survey respondent pointed out, “All the business requirements delay it. The business folks … are giving too high-level of requirements and not helping IT get an accurate sense of what is a nice-to-have and what is a must-have.”

Internal Development Teams Know UX is Important, But Don’t Prioritize
According to the commissioned study, supporting business requirements and corporate growth is the top critical software priority for IT organizations over the next 12 months. However, only 20 percent of IT decision makers surveyed said they were very satisfied with the user experience of the customer facing Web applications that are created in-house, and only 14 percent were very satisfied with their customer-facing mobile applications.

Their business counterparts agree. The study shows that business’ satisfaction with IT is lower than 50 percent.

Despite this low level of satisfaction, only 25 percent of IT decision makers place top priority on updating and modernizing key legacy applications, and only 20 percent believe mobile to be of top importance on their list of priorities.

Integrated Thinking Could be the Answer
According to the Technology Adoption Profile, which was conducted by Forrester Consulting and analyzes the survey results, this problem is not new: “Netted out, these obstacles have plagued enterprise application development teams for years.” The profile suggests that “Integrated Thinking,” where decisions are made with several attributes in mind – business needs, processes, technology, architecture, integration, customer needs, experience and design – can simultaneously meet business goals and delight customers.
One survey respondent agrees, stating his company has an omni-channel team that manages mobile projects. “Having developers, marketing, business, etc. under one team has helped them move faster … they are doing well with their complex applications because of this organizational structure.”

The Technology Adoption Profile states that an “Integrated Thinking” approach may be the answer, as it encourages enterprise application development teams to look at the bigger picture and “combine and conquer” through the following:

Take responsibility.
Internal development teams should strive to understand the big picture and take responsibility for not only the creation of the application, but also the impact it has on the business.

Task integrated design with people who understand both business and technology.
Bringing together the right people to make informed decisions about design and technology is necessary, but can sometimes be a challenge with internal stakeholders.  
“We see this all the time. Companies can be extremely challenged in getting all of their stakeholders on board with making design and technology decisions that benefit everyone’s interests – especially the customer or end user,” said Anthony Franco, president and founder of EffectiveUI. “This is where an outside team can be helpful – one that understands customer insight and design, but that also has a strong technical team and an understanding of business goals to help get everyone in line with the direction and execution of a digital project.”

Measure every design decision on its impact on user experience
The end-user ultimately decides the success of an application based on their experience and every decision made – whether technology, architecture, or visual design – impacts that experience.

To download the study, visit www.effectiveui.com/integratedthinking.  

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