If a business problem exists, there’s a good chance someone has developed a software product to solve it.
There’s Zoom for meetings, Dropbox for files, and Slack for communication. In fact, a quick Google search for “enterprise software” turns up over 1.2 billion results:
Helpful as they are, these software applications — especially when they come from multiple different vendors — create a problem of their own: technology bloat.
What is technology bloat?
Technology bloat occurs when an organization invests in too many different software tools, resulting in a tech stack that is too big and bulky for its own good.
Sometimes, technology bloat is a classic case of our eyes being too big for our stomachs. Each new software system that comes along is more tempting than the last, and we greedily gobble up apps as if they were candy bars.
Other times, it happens because businesses don’t have an organized IT strategy. People end up buying standalone applications to solve isolated problems without regard for the bigger picture — kind of like buying random ingredients at the grocery store instead of shopping with a list.
A growing problem
Regardless of how they got there, the average company ends up having around 88 different apps in its tech stack.
The largest companies — those with over 2,000 employees — have an average of 175 apps in their arsenal, according to Okta’s 2021 Businesses@Work report.
Each of these applications promises, in some form or another, to make your business more productive, agile, and efficient. The more applications you buy, the more streamlined your business should be — in theory, anyway.
In reality, the opposite is almost always true.
RingCentral found that two out of three workers waste an hour a day toggling between apps. What’s more, many workers say they’re so fed up with the constant app-switching that they’d rather do household chores or pay bills.
Let that sink in for a moment.
Of course, it’s not just productivity that suffers. All those extra applications come at a high financial cost.
Monthly subscription costs for commercial software can range from $100 to $10,000 or more. And that number doesn’t even take into consideration the cost of implementation and training, which can easily be double or triple the purchase cost, depending on the system you choose.
In all, businesses spent more than $466 billion last year on enterprise software — and that number is expected to expand nearly 11% this year to reach a total of $516.8 billion, according to Gartner.
Finding a healthy balance
The first and most obvious step is to eliminate any unnecessary applications. In our experience, it’s not uncommon for businesses to be paying for multiple different systems they’re not even using.
Then, look for ways to consolidate your existing systems as much as possible.
For example, many businesses use one system for reporting incidents and another for completing inspections.
Sure, both of these systems work just fine and you could keep using them. However, standalone systems are practically unnecessary when you consider the many comprehensive systems on the market today.
Our flexible and comprehensive technology platform centralizes all of your EHS management functions. Combining even three or four different applications into a single comprehensive system like this can result in a huge cost savings for your business — not to mention the productivity you’ll regain when you don’t have to flip between different systems to find the information you need.
Many businesses are aware these solutions exist, but fear the effort required to consolidate their various applications.
But when you consider that a comprehensive, standardized system like Perillon can be up and running in a matter of weeks, it becomes obvious that the initial effort required to make the switch is well worth the long-term benefits of productivity and cost savings.
In the end, restructuring your tech stack to eliminate bloat can help you achieve the results of productivity, efficiency, and agility you were after when you bought all those applications in the first place.