We wanted to get some real insights into why businesses still struggle to tap into the information and expertise they need on a day to day basis. So we worked with Forrester to produce a study about the challenges, and the results were very telling.
There's a lot of talk about businesses using an increasing number of apps to do their work. The average employee uses 28 cloud services, including seven collaboration services, three file sharing services, and four content sharing services, according to Skyhigh.
It's easy to play the blame game, and say employees are over-complicating things. And in the era of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), it's quick to see how Bring Your Own Application (BYOA) has become such a natural thing. But, that's only part of the picture. Different types of work require different types of apps. And employees are, for the most part, well intentioned, looking only to make their workflows more efficient.
We're not calling for a return to the dark ages here, all these apps have their purpose. In some cases, sure, you'll see a case of the kitchen drawer syndrome (When is the last time you used that egg slicer?). That might lead you to ax an app or two, but you'll still be left with a big problem, disparate information.
Doing our homework
We worked with Forrester to produce a study on collaboration software, and the results were pretty clear. The top three answers all had to do with the difficulty to consolidate data between various apps. These are IT decision makers talking about what they hear every day from their users. The problem has nothing to do with having too many apps, it's about them talking to each other. Concentration is a fickle thing, and having to switch between apps to view data kills it. It also makes us less productive.
Forrester also identified that on average, workers waste 5 hours a week searching for information. That's almost a workday a week. How does it happen? Because that one file is in an email, because you can't remember the name of that contact in Salesforce, because you got confused by the file architecture of your SharePoint server. Having too many apps within your business is not the problem. Let's face it, you probably use 3 or 4 different software solutions within the day that you simply couldn't do without. Many jobs today rely on these different solutions to a point where they become absolutely essential.
One platform to rule them all
And you see it in the answers. No one is really complaining about the amount of solutions, but the lack of communication between them. That's why collaboration platforms these days can't work as if they were in a vacuum. What really has to be taken into account is how software will play with others. That is the core solution to all these problems. If you have a unifying platform for all the apps you use that respects employee needs and ways of working, consolidating information becomes a breeze. Document collaboration becomes efficient. It's easy to search for content, and view the conversations around it. We think these are very common business pains, but they are very simple to fix if you really think about it. There is no reason for these to be. We need a variety of things to work, time to unite them under one banner.
Read the full report here.