UX holds the key to better IT-business relations, survey says

New survey finds a majority of IT managers now regularly survey business users on their 'happiness' with corporate technology.

Information technology departments have been paying more attention to the user experience (UX), and it may be smoothing the way to better working relationships.

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Photo: IBM Media Relations

That's one of the key takeaways from a new survey from PMG, which notes significant progress in these two sides of organizations coming together. The survey of nearly 250 North American corporate IT professionals demonstrates that IT and business users are beginning to work together in a more cohesive manner. A contributing factor toward the enhanced relationship is IT's conscious effort to improve UX, the study's authors assert.

UX covers not only the appearance and navigability of the interface, but also the experiences around the application -- such as application flow, responsiveness, relationships with related applications, and follow-up customer service or support. Last year, 52 percent of business executives gave IT high ratings for being aligned with the organization's business goals. This year, the number is 61 percent.

Across the board, IT is doing more to evaluate the UX of applications pre- and post-implementation. A majority of IT managers. 54 percent, say they regularly survey business users in order to gauge their happiness. Another indication that business user satisfaction is at the forefront for IT is the emerging presence of intuitive technology throughout the enterprise.

Here's how IT managers evaluate the UX associated with their applications:

  • Conduct user surveys 54%
  • Observe user working with the application 49%
  • Review customer success rates on task completion 42%
  • Review user error rates 38%
  • Host business user focus groups 35%
  • Do not evaluate the UX of business applications 19%

However, there's still a lot of work that needs t be done to bring these two sides together. For example, 41 percent of business users continue to view IT as service providers rather than strategic partners. Thirty-three percent see IT as a "trusted ally" in the business. Only 17 percent would regard IT as fundamental to the business's success, and nine percent say IT's role in the business as unclear.