The competing use cases of Enterprise UX

In Enterprise UX, your customers are often different than your users.

You are effectively selling a machine, aka your product. The customers have a need for the output of this machine. They are buying a better/faster/cheaper way to get that output, but will not be using this machine themselves.

The end users of the machine are not often not part of the sales conversation, they are often a few levels down the org chart. As a result, how your product actually works doesn’t necessarily matter the same way it does with a consumer product. Additionally, enterprise software often has long periods of customer lock in via service contracts, so there can be little incentive for a product to improve its UX, Instead, product teams often focus on new feature development to satisfy the customers who are signing the checks, and by extension, paying their salary.

A design team can sometimes make the case that by improving the UX you can make the output better/faster/cheaper. In these cases, framing the desired UX initiatives in the context of how it will ultimately will benefit the customer will likely be the best strategy.

In other cases, it might not actually matter as much as we want it to.

There is no silver bullet to this problem. They key is to recognize these different constituencies and prioritize accordingly.