Today we have a guest post by Hewitt Tomlin from in which he discusses innovation and improvements for the IWMS industry.

When Steve Jobs famously followed Eastern philosophy, he embraced the principle of having no preconceptions in order to discover certain truths.

When translating this principle into a business context, Jobs promised to never make any assumptions about what consumers wanted.

Rather, he placed himself in the consumer’s mind and concluded: consumers are lazy, minimal, and want to accomplish a task with the least amount of effort needed.

In other words, consumers are inherently efficient.

Technological Innovation

Recently, consumers have driven technological innovation in functionality and design with smartphones being the biggest example.

Designs such as symbol commands, swipe motions and the touch screen promote minimal effort when performing a wide array of tasks such as information sharing and content consumption.

Integrated workplace management systems (IWMS) are an example of a historical lack of minimal design in business software solutions.

Managing office buildings is an already challenging process as it is, but applying a large complex system just to derive some quantitative analysis does not make the actual management easier.

It’s like cramming a bunch of buttons and features into a cell phone when sometimes all you want to do is make a phone call.

In the context of the workplace, measuring and tracking people, assets and office space with software has lacked a much needed simple design and visual component.

IWMS and Design

So why has enterprise technology efficiency fallen behind consumers’ technology even though companies have more capital and resources?

For one, businesses cannot switch products like an individual consumer – they are too big to be that responsive (AKA: corporate lag).

Therefore, enterprise technology providers are not as responsive as Apple or Google – the feedback loop is much longer and therefore, demand does not make a quick impression on the producers.

Additionally, large facilities are complex and therefore entail a complex interface.

But this is not always the case – integrated databases and cloud-computing have allowed large amounts of information to be managed together rather than separately.

However, further innovations in IWMS, like the addition of interactive floor plans and BIM, have improved space management software and prioritized intuitive use.

Look to newer versions of current systems to improve upon simplicity, especially as companies begin catering to mobile demands which demands the ease of a smaller, touch screen device.

As members of the IWMS industry, we should be more like consumers and demand intuitive design to be a priority when designing the products we use on a daily basis.

The wheels of innovation should be spinning in all facets of the IWMS industry.

Just as improvements yield better data, faster implementations, and broader insights, the industry should focus on the improvement of user-friendliness and design as well.