The Prickly Love Affair Between Users and Software

September has proven to be a big month for Apple. Blockbuster announcements were made to introduce the iPhone 6, the iPhone 6 Plus, Apple Pay, and the Apple Watch.  Along with these major events came the debut of the iOS 8.0.1 update.


Then came the failure of iOS 8.0.1.

The software update was plagued by furious customer complaints within minutes of its debut. Less than an hour after launch, Apple retracted the update with promises of mending the bugs that were causing slower download speeds, dropped calls, keyboard malfunctions, and overall sluggish performance. Thereafter, Apple had to coach its grumpy users through restoring their devices to the previous iOS.

The iOS 8 misstep begs the question: Are we ready to be governed by software that guides our daily lives?

Software is proliferating homes, enterprises, and virtually everything in between. It’s becoming a part of our routine anywhere we go, and when it works, it has the capacity to greatly enhance our quality of life. When it doesn’t work, things go awry almost immediately. For the enterprise, the ramifications of incapable software can resemble Apple’s recent debacle. Consumerization is not to be taken lightly — it’s changing how we exist as a species. It’s changing what we require to function.

Raj Rao, VP and global head of software quality practice for NTT Data, recently wrote an article for Wired in which he states, “Today many of us don’t really know how many software components are in our devices, what their names are, what their versions are, or who makes them and what their investment and commitment to quality is. We don’t know how often software changes in our devices, or what the change means.”

The general lack of knowledge on what software is used within a particular device — specifically how and why — inevitably leads to ineptitude for troubleshooting problems when they arise. While a constant evolution in software is necessary for innovation, one can expect continual troubleshooting for the new technology.

For enterprise software users, Rao had three tips for keeping everybody satisfied. First, users should be encouraged to stick with programs they regularly use and understand. Second, large OS ecosystems should adhere to very strict control standards in order to ensure quality. And third, global software development practices need to become a priority if we want to guarantee a prioritized UX.

The bond between humans and software is constantly intensifying. Now is the time to ensure the high quality of your own software systems. Do you have an iOS 8.0.1 situation waiting to happen?

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