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Editor's note: Join ebizQ for BPM in Action on June 23, 2010.

Today's workers are getting used to an entirely configurable online world. Whether it's iGoogle or Facebook, they view websites as shufflable aggregators of content to be dragged, dropped and crafted as they desire. But in the workplace, this savvy set face a very different scene, where more traditional - and siloed - ways of working put a stop to the fast pace and instant access. As Generation Y continues to move through the ranks of the workplace, this demand for responsive applications that work intuitively will only accelerate further.

These IT users want simple UIs and information immediately at their fingertips. When they can search the entire web through an immaculately designed Google portal, it's hard for them to understand why this can't be transferred to their working environment. Why is completing a simple task in a business environment so much more difficult?



It seems businesses need to work harder to arm employees with these tools. There is budget in the IT department for both off-the-shelf applications and custom development, with Forrester's Annual Enterprise and SMB Software Survey predicting IT teams will spend about 35% of their budget on packaged application software, compared to 27% on the development of custom software.

And we're not just talking about one high cost application, but a multitude of systems, SaaS tools and interfaces that are being brought into the organization for users to deal with, turning their lives into a nightmare of alt-tabs and window-shuffling.

If end users can't get to grips with this multitude of apps quickly and easily, much of this vendor technology and focused in-house development that promises to revolutionize the business ends up being drastically underused - or even ignored. When it's implemented as part of mission critical processes, this can have a severe impact on productivity and business performance.

The panacea for the end user? A bespoke desktop, developed specifically for them that blends all the right applications and functionality together. Cue the hysterical laughter from the IT department at the very thought of developing every application with a specific end user in mind.

But IT managers can have an impact on how these myriad systems work together, to better arm their end users with the tools and processes to optimize their own working environment - with far less investment and hassle.

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