Over the past decade, many companies have migrated over half of their software and technology solutions to the Cloud. McKinsey research shows that by 2024, the average company will be spending 80% of IT’s budget on Cloud services and solutions. With this movement from on premise, expensive software licenses to Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions, employees have become swamped by an ever-expanding array of web portals and apps that make work a disjointed slog.
According to Okta’s Businesses at Work annual research report, mid-sized companies deployed 89 different apps on average in 2021, up from 58 in 2015. At large employers, that figure is now 187. Of those apps, some may provide duplicative value and others may be questionable for overall usage and adoption.
Software apps and solutions are purchased to provide value by creating efficiencies, streamlining workflows, automating routine tasks, and producing data and insights used to guide the business. So, why purchase solutions that employees cannot locate, don’t know how to use, or don’t even know that it is available for use? For companies to realize an ROI value on their purchases, they need a new “front door” that employees can use to welcome them to the various resources within their workplace.
*Okta chart above, published in Bloomberg.
“Context switching “ makes it hard to focus and stresses us out.
The Seattle Times reported on a recent study of 20 teams across three large employers and they found that workers toggled between various apps and websites 1,200 times each day. That’s just under four hours a week, or roughly five weeks a year, spent navigating between systems and tools. The researchers dubbed it the “toggling tax,” but it’s better known among psychologists as context switching — a habit that makes it hard to focus and, over time, stresses us out.
“Basically, how we work is itself a distraction,” said Rohan Narayana Murty, Founder and Chief Technology Officer at Soroco, which uses machine learning to map out how work gets done and conducted the toggling study. “All day long, we just repeatedly switch between disparate applications.”
Tori Paulman, Senior Director Analyst at Gartner Inc.’s employee experience technology group, says she must evaluate and recommend workplace software for clients that will make their jobs easier, not harder — what’s known in the consulting business as “human-centered IT strategies.” But her blunt assessment is that currently, humans are barely at the periphery of design thinking, much less the center.
“Technology,” she said, “has gone from the great enabler to the great inhibitor.” She relates workplace stories where employees must navigate five different apps just to start their day. She’s been approached by HR leaders who have said employees were feeling fatigued by all these apps and they want to fix it.
Cloud based SaaS apps are easy to deploy and affordable to purchase, which has led to companies potentially having “app overlap” or apps that perform the same functions leading to muddled workflows and confused employee users.
For example, according to Bloomberg, employees may prefer to do their video calls over Zoom (whose market share has nearly tripled since 2019), however employees are also chatting on Slack and sharing documents using Microsoft’s Teams. Some apps are just used by a few employees, while others are popular then get supplanted and fade into the background — the so-called “barnacle apps” that cling onto the ecosystem but do not provide any real value.
How to add sanity to your workflows with technology that is an enabler.
When employees join an organization and grow within the company, they may transfer from role to role and job to job. They need to feel welcomed and supported by their new teams and they want to be productive—not distracted and confused by apps and other technology solutions.
MeBeBot is that new “front door,” to welcome employees into the workplace, to guide them to the information they need, when they need it, from any type of mobile or computer device. As the “One-Stop Bot,” MeBeBot’s AI Intelligent assistant can answer routine questions related to IT, HR, Facilities, Payroll, Benefits, and other operational functions. And, MeBeBot can also drive adoption, usage and an understanding of the various point solutions/apps/tools purchased by the company to help with specific types of work.
Employees shouldn’t need to remember which systems (or tools) does what functions (as well as which password to use). Instead, from one singular app, employees can ask an IT question about using the Virtual Private Network (VPN), a question about enrolling in benefits, or another question on how to complete an expense report. With MeBeBot as the digital front door, they can ask all types of questions and not only receive a concise and accurate answer, but they can be pointed to the solution or tool they need to use to complete a workflow or process.
Technology for the workplace should enable employees to be efficient and remove frustrations so they can focus on the work that matters to the business. Companies can save countless hours of unproductive time each week when employees use MeBeBot. And, best of all, MeBeBot also helps drive the ROI value of other software and tools purchased by the company, reducing the risk of “barnacle apps” and driving adoption to other programs and benefits offered to elevate the employee experience.
MeBeBot’s AI Intelligent Assistant, recently selected as a “Brilliant Bot” in the Slack App Directory, seamlessly installs in Teams, Slack, or web portals to provide employees with instant automated answers to global HR, IT, and Ops FAQS. It also provides real-time usage Dashboards, Push Messaging, and custom Pulse Surveys, generating instant employee feedback on of-the-moment questions. MeBeBot’s “one-stop bot” is trusted by leading organizations to elevate the employee experience so work can be more meaningful and valuable.
Schedule a demo today to learn how you can provide your employees with a new “front door” with our Intelligent Assistant to help them navigate the workplace more efficiently.