Woman moblile Image credit pixabay/geraltResearch by monday.com has found that technology tools and applications can reduce efficiency, despite their promise of improving it. The issue arises when a firm invests in too many tools and app overload occurs. The finding was part of a survey of 3500 respondents across nine countries (Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, Israel, Japan, Mexico, the United Kingdom and the United States of America). The findings are a part of its global workforce survey.

On average, workers use around 10 different tools every month. The tools are web- and PC-based, though there is no doubt some overlap. The full data set was not shared by  monday.com. Web-based tools include Gmail, Teams and Slack, while PC-based tools include Outlook and MS Office (though the latter two could be determined as web-based).

Only 26% of knowledge workers, on average, feel they have the right tools to streamline work processes. Brazil (41%) and Mexico (38%) are more confident, while Japan (11%) and Australia (18%) are at the lower end of the spectrum. 29% of US workers and only 23% of UK workers feel they have the right tools.

The good news is that respondents recognise the issue, and 77% believe that consolidation of tools should be a high priority. This feeling is slightly higher in larger firms with more than $1 billion in revenue (79%).

The good news

Respondents were clear that the right technology is helping workers, with 83% believing they see the benefits of technology within their organisation. The average drops, though, when Brazil (94%) and Mexico (94%) are excluded to only 72%. This is concerning, with only 41% in Japan believing they have seen benefits from using technology.

The problem is understanding the measurement of that improvement over time. The research does not appear to have qualified the question. Were the benefits realised by older technology or better manual processes? It is unclear.

Tech tools do increase productivity, according to the respondents

  • 92% of knowledge workers say productivity is a key to business success in 2023
  • 80% of knowledge workers believe collaboration and productivity tools improve employee engagement
  • 76% of knowledge workers believe improving productivity helps prevent employee burnout

To succeed, 92% of respondents perceive that productivity and collaboration are key business assets for 2023. Looking forward, automation is another important factor in improving efficiency. Only 26% of respondents (UK 21%, US 28%) believe their firms have the tools to automate.

However, 78%  believe that workflow automation will change their lives within three years. Workflow Automation will also likely boost productivity (84%) and morale (76%). However, no question was asked whether respondents are concerned about jobs if workflow automation is introduced.

Broadly speaking, the UK was in line, or slightly below the “global” average, with the US often slightly above. The outliers were Brazil, Mexico and Japan, but there was no explanation. Certainly, Monday.com and RepData LLC and DM2 do not appear to have conducted any qualitative research element.

Does the UK stand out?

Will Hale, Sales Regional Director for EMEA at monday.com

Will Hale, Sales Regional Director for EMEA at monday.com, commented, “Many employees in the UK are struggling to cope with the sheer volume of digital tools and apps. As the study shows, we are at a point in time where technology overload is becoming a very real problem for British workers.

“It can be a difficult balance to strike, but the right technology has the potential to boost productivity, enable collaboration and reduce administrative tasks.

“We are already seeing the rise and benefits of automation based platforms as just one example, but it is critical that businesses find a way to streamline and consolidate tech adoption and that they invest in the right platforms and tools to enable greater productivity and enhance employee morale.”

Hale makes the obvious point that CIOs must consider what applications are used within their firms and whether consolidation will deliver cost savings for further investment. Collaboration and productivity tools such as Workflow automation is one potential area of investment. However, consolidating tools is not always straightforward, as different departments want different tools.

One big question is whether this is a CIO decision (probably not) or should be made higher up that CIOs can implement.

Enterprise Times: What does this mean

Previous studies have shown the proliferation of tools across organisations is a problem. A report by Nexthink highlighted that for 30 popular software tools, 50% of all licenses were not being used. This resulted in $537 million wasted. With multiple apps come additional challenges, such as silos of collaboration and communication and, not least, security.

For monday.com, the answer is simple. It provides a platform that enables work management, workflow automation and integrates with popular collaboration tools to provide a single solution for firms. The challenge for firms is identifying where applications are used and how they can be replaced. With its recently launched marketplace, monday.com will feel that it is in a good position to become the platform of choice organisation wide.


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