Reaching the Casual User: A New Challenge to the Enterprise Software Market

I’m increasingly hearing from companies that use enterprise software that the majority of their users will soon be “casual users” of any one enterprise software product. This is creating an enormous disconnect across the different constituencies that have been traditionally served, or underserved, by enterprise software. This disconnect between customer or buyer (usually the CIO), casual users (as often top management as they are “worker bees”), and vendors has enormous ramifications for, well, everything. I’ve just written a column for Datamation on the subject, riffing on the Andy Warhol concept that, in the future, everyone will be famous for 15 minutes. I invite you to take a look. As the user base becomes more casual, the need to rethink how users achieve process mastery, how companies consume enterprise software, and how vendors build community and engage with their users will become of paramount concern for all. At risk is not just our collective investment in enterprise software, but the whole notion of who our market is intended to serve.

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