Freshworks Inc a software company empowering the people who power business released the findings of a report, which found IT professionals in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) spend nearly a full work day each week (an average of 7 hours and 53 minutes) dealing with bloatware – unwanted, complicated SaaS add-ons and features that hinder productivity at work.
This has consequently had an impact on their productivity (51 per cent), decreased their motivation (31 per cent) and made them want to resign (23 per cent).
Freshworks’ new, State of Workplace Technology, Bloatware the difference between love and hate for workplace tech, the report explores more than 2,000 global IT professionals’ interactions with workplace technology.
In it, 40 per cent of MEA respondents report that most of the software their work provides doesn’t help them do their job better, while over half (54 per cent) say their company pays for software products their IT teams never use indicating that organisations are currently spending significant amounts on unnecessary overheads.
IT Professionals Want More of Less
Despite widespread innovation and a societal movement toward simple, easy-to-use apps, the new research reveals that bloatware is a persistent and pernicious problem for organisations. MEA IT professionals report that they have an average of 7.5 different applications available for use on their work computer, but only actively use half of them meaning that half is simply a distraction that lowers overall system performance.
Almost every IT professional (91 per cent) says their company could benefit from reducing overall software contracts, stating benefits that include increased productivity (56 per cent), cost savings (50 per cent), and more enjoyable work (25 per cent).
“It’s clear Middle East users prioritise functionality over features as unnecessarily complex software can be a bane rather than a boon. For businesses, investing in overcomplicated technologies has a threefold negative effect – the costs sunk into implementing the solution, the impact on employee satisfaction, and the subsequent loss of productivity,” said Manish Mishra – Head, Middle East & Africa, Freshworks.
“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. As we approach a possible slowdown in the economy, the C-suite is re-examining their tech stack to prioritise solutions that deliver maximum productivity, not complexity and burnout. Bloatware needs to go,” said Prasad Ramakrishnan, CIO of Freshworks.
However, gaining the necessary understanding of user preferences will require a culture shift that encourages employees to share their experiences and frustrations. Currently, despite costly and frustrating issues with the software, three-quarters (75 per cent) of MEA IT pros have hesitations about sharing feedback on their software. One in four don’t want to be seen as a complainer and say their company has a history of ignoring feedback (24 per cent), while 18 per cent don’t believe they’ll be listened to.
Software Affects Motivation and Performance
Almost unanimously, IT professionals don’t like their company software. 84 per cent of MEA IT professionals said they have frustrations with their company’s software, with the leading reasons being, it slows down their work (36 per cent), it lacks flexibility (33 per cent) and it requires multiple programs to do their job effectively (28 per cent).
But more worrying is that bad software also hurts work performance and morale. Notable findings include:
- Contributes to the Great Resignation. Nearly a quarter of MEA IT workers (23 per cent) say being forced to use outdated legacy software makes them want to quit their job.
- Hurts mental health. The large majority (87 per cent) of MEA IT pros are burnt out and nearly half (49 per cent) say they are the most burnt out they’ve ever been in their career. They see bloated software as part of the problem, with 25 per cent reporting that easier-to-use software would help reduce their burnout.
- Better software can be part of the solution. MEA IT professionals say that easier-to-use software (45 per cent) and software that reduces workload (36 per cent) would help reduce burnout.
IT Professionals will Give Up a Lot for Better Software
In the MEA region, fifty-seven percent of IT professionals 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, vacation days (47 per cent), more parental leave (36 per cent), and more sick/wellness days (35 per cent).
“In an increasingly digital world, business and IT heads need to pay careful attention to the usability, performance, and intuitiveness of their digital platforms. Those that get this right will have the pick of their industry’s top talent as workers gravitate towards organizations that place an emphasis on delivering exceptional digital experiences,” Mishra concluded.