Does Technology Make Us More or Less Productive in the Workplace?

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How many applications does your company use?
The typical work environment has at least a dozen pieces of software in place, but some businesses end up in the triple digits. Everyone gets sold on the idea that adding more technology leads to constant productivity improvements, but you encounter a point of diminishing returns quickly. Discover whether common digital tools are helping or hurting your organization.

Cloud Storage
Your employees handle a variety of documents, assets and other files every day. If they store everything on a single workstation, an employee gets stuck at that computer for the duration of the project. In a world where everyone has a smartphone in their pocket, mobility is an important part of doing many jobs.
Cloud storage allows teams to put important files into a centralized location. They get access from any of their devices, and this keeps projects moving in the right direction. However, if everyone uses a different cloud storage app, you run into problems trying to figure out where the documents are stored.

Collaboration and Office Suites
Today’s technology makes it easier for companies to build a collaborative environment. Everything from project management tools to word processing tools offers a way for employees to work together to accomplish their goals. Organization-wide collaboration allows you to use your available resources more efficiently in most cases. However, each solution has its own learning curve, and switching from one app to another is not a seamless process.

Unified Communications
Email, chat, phone, video conferencing and enterprise social networks provide a wide range of communication options for your company. Each channel has its own strengths, but tracking down conversations after they occur is difficult. Unified communications tools solve this problem through a centralized app for all discussions. Employees can quickly reference the latest team chat, bring up customer discussions or access the video conference line for the next meeting. The productivity gains from UC solutions come from their user-friendliness and integration capabilities.

Having Too Many Apps Is Worse Than Having Too Few
Some organizations fall prey to “new and shiny” syndrome. They are always changing their infrastructure to try out the next big thing in the productivity software world. Other companies have business environments plagued by shadow IT, as employees procure new applications without any approval or oversight.
Regardless of the cause, you end up with a company that has hundreds of apps working at cross purposes. Too many apps put you in a worse position than too few, due to these productivity-destroying situations:

  • Cross-department collaboration is difficult or impossible due to everyone using a different set of software for the same tasks.
  • Users fail to get the software support they need to work efficiently due to IT not knowing what applications are in use.
  • Work is duplicated due to a lack of visibility between different applications.
  • Integrating all Web apps in the company is more complex, as not all third-party solutions are compatible with each other.
  • No one can find the information they need, as someone stored it in an unknown Web app.

How to Address a Problematic App Environment
The first step to addressing the app problem in your organization is by learning how deep it goes. Monitor SaaS activity to identify employee usage of Web apps in detail. You find out which tools employees use in your organization, whether users have abandoned certain apps and where the overlaps are in your organization.
You don’t have to watch your productivity gains go down the drain due to technology inefficiencies in your organization. Once you put SaaS monitoring software in place, you can get back on track.

The Whir, Prophet, and Forbes

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