The “State of Workplace Technology: Bloatware” report reveals IT pros waste over 6 hours per week trying to use over-complicated tech, at a cost of £7B annually
Freshworks Inc. (NASDAQ: FRSH), a software company empowering the people who power business, today released the findings of a global report, which found IT professionals in the UK spend an average of 6 hours and 16 minutes dealing with bloatware – unwanted, overly complicated SaaS add-ons and features that hinder productivity and cause frustration at work. The cost of trying to use unhelpful technology amounts to £7B annually in wasted time in the UK alone, reinforcing that complex systems continue to be a major financial strain – not to mention the negative implications they can have on workplace morale and productivity.
Freshworks’ new report, State of Workplace Technology: Bloatware – the difference between love and hate for workplace tech, explores more than 2,000 global IT professionals’ interactions with workplace technology. The report found that 87% of IT professionals in the UK surveyed waste time each week due to pervasive bloated technology, distracting them from their core responsibilities and undermining the bottom line.
IT Pros Want More of Less
Despite widespread innovation and a societal movement toward simple, easy-to-use apps, the new study reveals that bloatware is a persistent and pernicious problem for organizations. IT professionals report that they have an average of 15 different applications available for use on their work computer, but only actively use half of them—meaning that half are simply a distraction that lower overall system performance. Almost every IT professional (94%) in the UK say that their company could benefit from reducing overall software contracts, while seven in ten (70%) say their company would benefit from simpler software.
The problem is widespread and substantial, with IT professionals reporting bloatware infiltrates many aspects of their work. Notable findings include:
- Too much clutter. Over half (53%) say their organization pays for SaaS features that their IT teams never use.
- Work software is overly complex. Almost forty percent (36%) say too much of their tech stack is hard to use.
- It’s expensive. Forty-two percent say their organization spends too much on its tech stack, while almost one-third (32%) believe their company doesn’t know how to stop paying for unnecessary services.
- Fragmented solutions. Nearly two-thirds (63%) prefer a single software solution for IT service management rather than several applications.
Despite these costly and frustrating issues with software, seven in 10 (71%) IT pros in the UK have hesitations about sharing feedback on their software. Why? Nearly one in four don’t want to be seen as a complainer (24%) and say their company has a history of ignoring feedback (21%), while 18% don’t believe they’ll be listened to.
“Legacy SaaS providers may have had good intentions by offering more add-ons and features, but the era of complexity has backfired and is bogging down businesses’ ability to deliver,” said Prasad Ramakrishnan, CIO of Freshworks. “As we approach a possible slowdown in the economy, the C-suite is re-examining their tech stack to prioritize solutions that deliver maximum productivity, not complexity and burnout. Bloatware needs to go.”
Frustrating Software Hurts Motivation and Performance
Almost unanimously, IT pros across the country hate their company software. More than 9 in 10 (91%) IT pros said they have frustrations with their company’s software, with the leading reasons being: it slows down their work (35%), it lacks flexibility (28%) and it requires multiple programs to do their job effectively (33%), but more worryingly is bad software also hurts work performance and morale. Notable findings include:
- Contributes to the Great Resignation. Almost one-third of IT workers (32%) say being forced to use outdated legacy software makes them want to quit their job.
- Hurts mental health. Eight in 10 (82%) IT pros are burnt out and more than one-third (34%) say they are the most burnt out they’ve ever been in their career. They see bloated software as part of the problem, with 35% reporting that easier-to-use software would help reduce their burnout.
- Better software can be part of the solution. IT professionals say that easier-to-use software (35%) and software that reduces workload (37%) would help reduce burnout.
IT Pros Will Give Up A Lot For Better Software
Almost two-thirds (63%) of IT pros say they hate using outdated legacy software that isn’t easy to use. Many hate the software so much that they are willing to give up benefits, including:
- 37% are willing to give up more holiday days
- 39% are willing to give up more parental leave
- 29% are willing to give up more sick/wellness days
“This research shows that Bloatware is as big a problem as ever. For businesses, this kind of software can significantly interfere with an organisation’s agility, leaving IT teams distracted from focusing on what they need to do”, said John Crossan, Senior Vice President & General Manager for Europe, Freshworks. “In today’s economic climate, businesses across Europe cannot afford to waste 7 hours every week dealing with bloatware. With an economic downturn on the horizon, and employees reporting record levels of career burnout, it is time that business leaders recognise the importance of workplace tech and take action to provide IT teams with software that’s easy-to-use, fast and just works.
Freshworks recently released Part 1 of its State of Workplace Technology series titled, Workplace technology: The new battleground for the war on talent, productivity & reputation. It found that businesses globally face a potential workplace crisis due to inadequate technology – which damages employee productivity, mental health and the ability to retain talent – as an overwhelming 91% of employees report being frustrated due to inadequate workplace technology. Meanwhile, 71% of business leaders acknowledge that employees will consider looking for a new employer if their current job does not provide access to the tools, technology or information they need to do their jobs well.
Freshworks conducted this research using an online survey prepared by Method Research and distributed by RepData among n=2,001 adults ages 18+ that work full time as IT professionals, with n=500 U.S., n=500 U.K., and n=100 in each of the following ten countries: Sweden, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Singapore, Australia/NZ, Malaysia, India, United Arab Emirates, and South Africa. The sample was balanced by gender, age, and company size, with an internationally representative geographic spread of respondents. Data was collected from March 18 to April 9, 2022.
Wasted time due to bloatware costs in the UK was calculated by taking the median salary of IT pros in the UK (£47,598 per Reed.co.uk) and calculating an hourly rate. Using the hourly rate, a per worker annual cost was found by multiplying it by the annual amount of hours in the UK wasted dealing with bloatware (6 hours and 16 minutes * 50 work weeks). Then, by multiplying by the amount of UK IT workers (940, 000 per Stastica), it gives a final value of £7B annual costs.
Freshworks Inc. (NASDAQ: FRSH) makes business software people love to use. Purpose-built for IT, customer support, sales and marketing teams, our products empower the people who power business. Freshworks is fast to onboard, priced affordably, built to delight, yet powerful enough to deliver critical business outcomes. Headquartered in San Mateo, California, Freshworks operates around the world to serve more than 56,000 customers including Bridgestone, Chargebee, DeliveryHero, ITV, Klarna, Multichoice, OfficeMax, TaylorMade and Vice Media. For the freshest company news visit www.freshworks.com
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