An alarming amount of workers say new software causes frustrations within the past two years, with more than half saying they wish management would bring old systems back, according to a new software survey report from Gartner.
The research suggests that users are growing increasingly frustrated with complicated new software and are finding new releases harder and harder to use, leading to a negative opinion that can spread throughout an organization.
Per the IT research firm’s report, 60% of workers say new software had occasionally or frequently caused them frustration over the last 24 months, with 56% saying the new software made them wish the old software would be brought back.
Gartner’s survey of nearly 5,000 technology product and services users in April through June found that 40% of software users have resisted using applications after a negative experience by using minimal features, delaying its use, or avoiding it altogether.
After a positive experience, 41% of users spent more time delving further into the product’s features.
When users have a positive or negative experience with software, they often share their opinions with peers, IT leaders and executives, which can start a chain reaction that influences what others adopt or avoid, per Gartner’s research.
However, more users complain and influence peers after a negative experience (42%) than recommend a piece of software after a positive experience (38%). Another 42% share negative experiences with IT, while 25% share those experiences with management.
In today’s digital age, social media has become an outlet for sharing opinions on software, with 10% of survey respondents saying they left reviews on social media or review websites after poor experiences with software.
Overwhelmingly, respondents said they want software to be easier to use, as 51% cited that as the top action software vendors could take to make users more likely to recommend their products.
One way to solve this could be allowing users to choose the software they use. According to Gartner’s survey, 34% of users said IT allows them to choose most of the software they use.
In a statement, Craig Roth, research vice president at Gartner, said the democratization and consumerization of IT is leading to employees who want more discretion over the software they use.
“Software product leaders often focus on adding new features to keep up with competitors, but this leads to overly complex products with poor user experience (UX),” he said.
Roth also said users may ignore new, advanced software features, which reduces the “stickiness” of a software product and lessening a vendor’s influence to upsell or renew contracts.
That’s why software companies must focus on the user experience and make their products easy to use without sacrificing advanced features.
“With SaaS revenue growing faster than the overall software industry, providers increasingly find themselves in a continuous purchase cycle, said Roth. “In this competitive market, maintaining high-value application usage by making UX a core competency is critical for generating positive business outcomes.”