Recently a black and white photo of a young woman standing by a towering stack of paper circulated around social media. It doesn’t sound impressive until one learns that the woman is Margaret Hamilton, the year is 1969, and the paper pile that is nearly taller than her is the guidance software she and her MIT team produced for the Apollo project. It’s a familiar sight to Baby Boomers who learned to type on typewriters and wrote programs on index cards. It’s a downright perplexing site for millennials who have been able to access the internet on phones that fit in their pockets for most of their lives.
This photo is just one example of the progress computer software has made in the last 50 years. But, consider that while we may no longer write programs in towering stacks of paper, the workforce still employs a cross-generational user base who all work from different experiences with different preferences, and at different paces.
Meeting the Cross-Generation Needs
The challenge businesses face is finding software that bridges that generation gap, user interfaces that are sophisticated enough for the savvy user, yet intuitive enough for the later adopter. Users don’t want to have to learn a computer language to communicate with their program. (Who can remember all those old DOS commands anyway?) The best user experience will leave your employees feeling empowered and not lost or inadequate when trying to maneuver through key business applications.
Some of this comes from software designers creating accessible interfaces. Designing an application is more than just how it looks or a list of “must have” rules. User interface design should also make intuitive sense, with a logical flow of information both in entry and retrieval.
That’s the start. The rest of it, however, comes from selecting the right software, one that knows how to interact with each generation of user in your organization to play to their strengths and offer support in growth areas.
The Three Generations on Your Team
Most teams currently employ members of three generations, each with their own strengths, each of whom absorb technology in different ways. Fortunately, for each generation SYSPRO offers features built to support their work habits and technological understanding.
- Baby Boomers were the first working generation introduced to the desktop computer, likely in the form of the IBM 286, Apple II, floppy disks (that were actually floppy), and DOS. Since they came in at the ground level of innovation, they had the most time to adjust gradually to technology as it was introduced. Baby Boomer SYSPRO users appreciate an intuitive, customizable, easy to understand, and highly user-friendly experience.
- Generation X and Y adopted the internet and web-based applications. They clearly remember the sound of a dial-up modem, scores of AOL CD-ROMs in their [actual] mailboxes, and the advent of computer viruses. With their network-based comfort levels, they’ll be fans of SYSPRO’s flexible web-based or cloud accessible deployment options.
- Millennials likely cannot remember life without technology. Mobile access has been a reality since childhood, and they thrive on the ability to access information in real time from anywhere at any time. With SYSPRO Espresso, Millennial users get instant up-to-date information in real time. Paired with SYSPRO Harmony, which functions much like the social media platforms they thrive on, information rolls down in an effective and familiar feed layout.
SYSPRO Past, Present, and Future
It’s clear that each generation has specific preferences and skills when working with technology and software, and it’s important that a business offer software solutions that empower all ages to navigate comfortably and successfully. SYSPRO’s ERP software is created specifically to promote flexibility for usage and uptake across every generation. With the SYSPRO solution, organizations can ensure efficiency throughout, allowing current employees to be effective now, and future-proofing for the generations to come.
If you’re ready to integrate SYSPRO for all your organization’s generations—past, present, and future—PositiveVision is the source you need. With extensive experience on all things SYSPRO, we can ensure that your SYSPRO setup bridges the cross-generational gap and positions your employees—and your company—for optimal success in the marketplace. Let us help you design the best SYSPRO user experience.