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Productiv Insights: How Do People Feel About the Apps They Use in the Workplace?


Not so long ago, we shared the results of a survey of IT leaders at North American enterprises that explored what influences the thinking of CIOs and IT leaders when they make decisions about enterprise applications.

The long and short of it is that CIOs spend a lot of time and energy focused on vendors, tools and software that will enable their teams to do the best work – but even in the light of these considerations, do employees feel that their needs are met? Enterprise employees have opinions about applications, and they don’t always align with CIOs’. We recently surveyed more than 250 US-based staff of companies with more than 1,000 employees to get their feedback on enterprise applications. Here’s what we learned:

  • Employees doubt the C-suite’s commitment to their needs when it comes to applications. 40% of respondents said they didn’t think their C-suites had their productivity in mind when making decisions about what applications to provide. This is down from the 53% found in a survey conducted by PWC in October of 2018 which is a sign that perhaps CIOs are doing a better job engaging employees on their technology requirements. But on the other hand, the findings below indicate that there’s still a lot of work ahead. 
  • Redundant applications are commonplace in the enterprise – especially for common functions like messaging and office productivity. 83% of respondents reported that their organizations have two or more redundant applications for these functions, while 57% reported at least three redundant applications. Nearly 19% of respondents reported a staggering five or more redundant applications in use.
  • The factors hindering productivity in the enterprise might surprise you. Only 27% of respondents named having too many meetings as a cause of decreased productivity, while 54% named a lack of cross-departmental collaboration. CIOs should take note of the fact that 39% reported that not having access to the right applications decreases their productivity, and 43% reported difficulty collaborating with peers. 
  • People are using a lot of applications all at once. 36% of respondents reported having five or more applications open all the time during the average day. Considering every app vendor spends a lot of effort vying for attention (bouncing icons, pop ups, bells and dings), it’s no wonder that new applications are springing up to help people focus and reduce screen time.

Ultimately the applications CIOs are responsible for managing are being depended on more than ever before. And while CIOs are more attuned to this, there is a risk that the expectations are surpassing existing organizational capacity. Whether it’s application redundancy, poorly sourced applications or simply not having sufficient employee input when software gets selected, CIOs can take additional strides to get ahead of these challenges and become the enablers of employee productivity they (and their business) want them to be.