While we certainly have a lot to say about the benefits of the right IT solutions, even we can acknowledge that there is a point of diminishing returns. So, how much technology is too much technology, specifically in terms of the software your team relies on? Let’s explore some of the warning signs.
A [Few Hundred] Applications for Every Need
When it comes to the software that a business has to choose from (with almost no exceptions in any industry or any software’s purpose), a lack of choice isn’t really a problem.
Quite the opposite, in fact. If an organization relies on too many different applications and platforms, its productivity can ultimately suffer. This is why you see so many business productivity suites in use… the basic tools for organizational productivity are bundled together and built to play nicely with one another. As a result, linear, more productive workflows are made possible.
Another benefit of using a productivity suite is the fact that it helps to discourage the use of the ominously-named shadow IT, a cybersecurity term for software that is on your systems without the knowledge and approval of your IT department or resource. Basically, if an employee doesn’t have—or doesn’t know they have—the software needed to complete a certain task, they may go looking for a solution to this issue independently. Any software they find and download could potentially be a vehicle for threats, making shadow IT the threat it really is to businesses. Ensuring that your team members have the tools they’ll need from the start, and are comfortable using them, is much easier when these tools can all be found from the same source.
Finally, we should mention that maintaining a bunch of individual software programs is sure to be an expensive endeavor, both in subscription costs and in the hours invested in the proper support for each. Consolidating your use into a unified platform like a productivity suite as much as you can is a great way to budget your available capital into a more manageable monthly cost.
Productivity-Enhancing Tools Decreasing Productivity
Let’s return to the “too many tools for one job” issue for a moment. With too many disparate software titles in play, your team will likely need to switch between them to complete different aspects of their work.
It just doesn’t matter how efficiently someone can complete their tasks if half of their time is spent moving data from one program to another so they can carry out these tasks at all.
This is just another reason that choosing software that is bundled into a suite is generally the better option for a business. If time is considered money, you don’t want your tasks to take any more time than absolutely necessary.
Oversight Becomes Impossible
... or at least far more difficult than it should be.
Part of effectively managing a team is to be able to observe certain key performance indicators (or KPIs) and identify trends that can be seen in them. For instance, if Tom, Dick, and Harry each take three hours to complete Task A every time, while Eileen can consistently complete it in two, there’s likely some valuable insight to be gleaned that would benefit your processes. KPIs like this are easier to obtain from unified software platforms, as all the data is found in one place.
When all is said and done, your work processes are not the place that you want your team members to find themselves overwhelmed. Standardizing the software that should be used is a great way to help streamline these processes, and is something that we can help you do. Find out how we can help you manage the tools your team uses through our managed services by calling (503) 278-5011.