Every few years the enterprise software industry wakes up and looks at its user interface in the mirror, and shrieks and goes for plastic surgery, bunch of make up, yet another diet...
As they invest millions improving their UI this time, hope they consider...
...that messaging between machines, sensors, devices have for the last couple of decades outstripped human originated messaging traffic. Optimizing non-human interfaces is even more important than newer UIs
...that the "universal UI" is a holy grail. Traders, salesfolks, shop floor employees, the UPS delivery employees, are not homogeneous and will never use a single UI
...that amazon.com, eBay and Google have shown in the last few years that the best user interface is the one which does not require elaborate documentation - and does not generate tons of calls to some help desk
...that we are already seeing a huge proliferation in mobile user interfaces. We are going to be swimming in way too many UIs in coming years
...that the average CFO does not want a "prettier" user interface, but wants more productive accountants that can help compress the monthly closing cycle and help the company show in top quartile of best practice process benchmarks. That the average VP of Logistics is looking for tons of customer, shipment and other data - wants lots of reliable, bulk data, and in fact is suspicious of user touched data.
From an enterprise POV, UIs that are intuitive and easy to customize should be the goal.. not pretty ones.
Update: Dennis Howlett posts an expanded discussion on UIs at ZDNet
and my later note on topic