The End of App Fatigue: 4 Solutions to Revitalize Your Workforce
App fatigue, also known as “app overload”, refers to the lack of interest in adopting and using new applications.
Frequently, app fatigue is due to the large number of applications that a user already interacts with and can be a contributing factor to decreasing productivity and morale at the workplace.
In this article, we explore how app fatigue affects organizations, and share four solutions to address this problem.
In the past few years, the proliferation of SaaS apps has grown to remarkable proportions, with thousands of providers, millions of customers, and billions in sales.
At the same time, anyone working in mid-sized and above companies can confirm that the number of apps is getting out of hand.
And it’s not just a feeling: According to BetterCloud’s latest State of SaaSOps report, organizations used an average of 130 SaaS apps in 2022. That represents 18% more than in 2021, and 1625% more than in 2015.
Source: 2023 State of SaaSOps Report
This situation presents company leaders with a number of challenges related to app configuration and maintenance, data quality, app usage, and app redundancy, among others.
Plus, having too many apps can lead to a strange paradox: Instead of increasing workplace productivity and reducing operational costs, it might start producing the opposite results.
At this point, it’s tempting to say “Hey, just get rid of unnecessary apps!”, but it’s not that simple.
We’re looking at a problem that involves critical factors like team capabilities, sensitive data, contractual obligations, and established processes, just to name a few.
With this in mind, we’ll explore the problem of dealing with too many apps, and share four solutions to address it in a conscious, effective way.
The company has too many apps: What’s at stake?
Managing a growing app stack is difficult, to say the least. The main challenges organizations face when doing this are:
Keeping costs in check.
Making sure the apps are actually being used and fulfilling their purpose.
Keeping data inputs and outputs transparent, consistent, and traceable.
Securing sensitive data and files.
Onboarding and offboarding users.
Fending off duplicate apps and app redundancy.
On top of this, organizations must optimize their app stacks to reduce app fatigue and ensure that employee attention, productivity, and motivation don’t decline.
As you can see, a disjointed, redundant, and poorly-monitored app stack is an intricate problem that poses threats related to productivity, security, finances, and employee satisfaction.
This raises the question: How to solve the problem of too many apps in the workplace? This is what we found out.
4 solutions to solve app fatigue and optimize your app stack
After mixed financial results and rumors of recession, there’s no shortage of companies looking to improve their cost structures and operational expenditures by slashing technologies from their stack.
If we add the issue of app fatigue, you’d probably think there’s a compelling case to start cutting off apps straight away, but there are other alternatives to consider as well.
Moreover, these alternatives are not mutually exclusive; you can implement them while cutting some apps from your stack.
Let’s take a look at them.
1. Audit your stack to identify useless apps
In our view, the best way to audit your app stack is by doing it twice.
The first audit cycle will help you understand what’s going on, and provide you with the necessary information to start optimizing your app stack.
As it turns out, not every unused app is useless. In the same vein, not every app being used is worth keeping.
Once you get a clear picture of the situation, you’ll be able to start considering solutions (see below), and then cut off the apps that are truly useless.
2. Centralize access for app users
When app fatigue is the leading cause of distress at the organization, there are products that can save app users from it by centralizing access to apps in one place.
These products act as a single point of entry for workplace apps and are designed to reduce the type of friction that causes app fatigue via features like multi-account login and unified search.
On top of acting as a productivity boost, some of these platforms also provide you with app usage reports to help you decide which apps are worth keeping down the road.
3. Consolidate apps and app accounts
In companies with considerable app stacks, it’s not rare to see two or more apps with similar functionalities being used, sometimes even by the same teams.
For example, a large team might be relying on two different project management tools to drive projects forward; this is a common case of app redundancy and a regular contributor to app fatigue.
In addition, it’s possible to encounter redundancy within a single app as well, in the form of idle accounts/seats.
This is an obvious problem, as seats that aren’t used cost money (usually to the tune of hundreds of dollars per seat per year), and waste valuable resources and time (onboarding for an empty seat is nothing but a sunk cost).
Such occurrences must be addressed immediately.
On top of dropping the dead weight of redundant apps and seats, you’ll be making your employees’ lives easier by removing friction - and likely, a good deal of noise - from the routine.
4. Automate with purpose
Automating processes and workflows is a win-win situation for the organization.
On one hand, automation keeps processes running smoothly in the background.
On the other hand, it frees up time and money for the company, which no longer needs to run manual processes and rely on people jumping from one app to another to keep the wheels turning.
Furthermore, it makes a lot more sense to bring automation into the mix as app stacks grow.
It’s how you guarantee clean, traceable data flows, reduce friction, and keep all the desired functionalities without the drudging interactions.
In other words: Automation lets you keep app capabilities while getting rid of the liabilities.
Platforms like Make excel at this and can be a lifesaver for teams stretched too thin and at the brink of fatigue-fueled burnout.
Final thoughts: Less app fatigue to reduce risks and improve operational efficiency
Reducing app fatigue is not just about bringing relief to teams across the organization, but also about reducing security risks, improving productivity, and keeping everyone motivated.
Similarly, the solution to app fatigue is not limited to axing down the tech stack right away.
Rather, it’s about cutting off useless apps with surgical precision, focusing on key functionalities, and bringing market-proven solutions to reduce friction.
Platforms like Make play an important role in reducing app fatigue, but most importantly, they are key to:
Integrating a sprawling app stack.
Ensuring that everyone gets the data they need, without having to spend countless hours on related tasks.
Scaling your processes and operations with minimal friction.
With the solutions listed above, we’re confident that you’ll be able to start using technology in a more intentional way and regain full control of your app stack for a more fulfilling, productive user experience.