Kiwi design on the rise as user centred apps disrupt enterprise

Across New Zealand, business leaders are all too keen to spout the usual rhetoric of operating at the cutting-edge of innovation. But...

“That was his way of working, and it worked for him. He’s a perfect example of the type of employee that required a user-centric approach to application development, to ensure a maximum return for the business.”

While PGG Wrightson is the latest organisation to utilise NV Interactive’s user experience, Pickering says interest is strong for the company’s design led approach to enterprise applications.

Through working with global brands such as BBC, USA Today and ESPN, NV Interactive is well versed in the art of app development, crafting solutions for a host of big names across the world from the company’s two studios in Wellington and Christchurch.

“Through working with our global clients, and local ones across New Zealand, to create consumer applications, we are well-placed to transfer this approach to enterprise,” Pickering adds. “We know how to connect with people and understand the need to create a compelling experience, irrespective of whether we’re targeting consumers or business workers.”

While injecting design-thinking into organisations is commonplace for NV Interactive, also operating with expertise in producing strategy and technical executions for businesses, Pickering is quick to acknowledge the cautious nature of some business leaders, leaders who resist the urge to be seduced by sexy apps in the workplace.

“Everyone fundamentally understands that something that is a pleasure to use will get used more, this is well understood as a concept,” Pickering adds. “But it’s more an understanding of the business case.

“From engaging with businesses, we believe the key challenges to executing a design led approach to applications centre mainly around budget constraints in an enterprise context.

“But also, the decision making process within this type of environment usually requires someone actively driving change within the organisation.”

Similar to arguably the most powerful marketing phrase ever created, ’no one ever got fired for buying IBM’, the growing prominence of taking a design led approach to enterprise applications still heavily relies on business decision makers being willing to take a chance.

A chance in the respect of seeking new ways to add value, new ways to engage employees and new ways to drive growth.

Hiding in the shadows of tradition however doesn’t lend itself to change.

“Attitudes are changing,” Pickering adds. “Enterprise are looking for new ways to drive value across their business and the rise of design led applications represents part of the shift in power from the CIO to the CMO. It’s growing steadily but we’re definitely seeing more of this.”

With the company gradually increasing its presence within the enterprise market, and continuing to drive growth in the consumer space, speculation continues to mount as to where NV Interactive will next set up shop.

“Our third studio was always going to be in Auckland,” Pickering says. “But we’re now seeing more and more business opportunities in Australia and the UK so it’s a case of responding to demand.”

Built on organic growth, the NV Interactive model is to remain “small by design”, ensuring that the growing Kiwi firm stays nimble and agile enough to change tact and evolve in the ever-changing world of technology. This nimbleness is based on a strategy of a network of boutique studios

“Our position is that we don’t have to force the issue,” he adds. “We will expand and make a move when the time is right. We now have a proven model that will scale when the time is right.

“No studio will be bigger than 20-25 people and the key for us is to find the right talent to fill it.

“We’re very selective about our team and recognise the need to create a strong culture across the company, whether that be in Wellington or Christchurch – or Sydney, New York or London.”

While Pickering possesses the luxury of setting the company’s agenda, and not being bound by external pressures, the same cannot be said for the enterprise market.

Undergoing constant transformation as the need to drive greater value becomes imperative, the rise of design led applications represents a new era for enterprise.

And by virtue of operating in such a market of untapped potential, NV Interactive, in riding the crest of the application wave, will be certain to expand with it, from its humble roots on Kiwi shores, to the larger markets of the US, UK, Australia and beyond.

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