Avoiding Appageddon, App Creep, Overload and Glut !
A top definition from The Urban Dictionary for “App Creep” refers to the uncontrolled additions or continuous growth of apps on an individual’s smartphone(device). This phenomenon occurs when the App Store is utilized in a reckless manner and the acquirement of apps is not properly defined, documented, managed or controlled. It is generally considered a negative occurrence, and therefore should be avoided.
The same situation can manifest within all types of businesses, but small businesses in particular. Have you ever heard the phrase “there is an app for that”? Well, for almost every aspect of business that presents a challenge (project management, time recording, resource allocation, expense claims, customer engagement, etc…) there is probably and app for that – an application that is supposed to help business and their employees become more productive – but having too many applications will probably result in the opposite.
In a white paper released in December 2018, by Pegasystems “Demystifying the desktop What workforce intelligence reveals about technology and employee productivity” they found that on average, employees used as many as 35 different applications, switching back and forth more than 1,100 times a day. “Workers using 30 applications or more in a shift have a 28 percent higher error rate than those using fewer apps. Expanded over years, this means hours, and potentially days, of lost time, as well as highly error-prone activity”. This white paper has some incredible findings, So, how do you as a small business owner or manager avoid this problem?
Having been a victim of this problem myself, and also trying to find solutions – I’ve done some research and gained insights on what to look out for when trying to look for solutions In business applications.
Here are some of the things that if found:
- Revisiting and refining your workflow on a continuous basis is important – this is where you will identify the inefficiencies that need to resolved – if there is more than one application duplicating processes (for example team communication, Skype, WhatsApp, Teams), you will probably want to eliminate the ones that don’t add any more value. Having more than one tool doing the same thing in your organisation creates confusion and frustration – it also opens the company culture to exactly what you are trying to eliminate.
- Cost-benefit Analysis… Just because it costs more money, doesn’t mean you should not use it. I recently had a discussion with a friend regarding an application called Expensify. He says that the input VAT claims he gets from expenses submitted using this application, (rather than the previous application that missed the VAT) – has more than paid for the subscription expense. The applications that you choose don’t necessarily need to save you money – but they do need to add value to your business. Also try finding open-source software as alternative to brand name applications – you will be reducing your business costs in the long run.
- Research the applications that you are considering – It is highly likely that there will be multiple applications that offer the same solution with a few differences between them. The internet is an amazing place, and you won’t be let down as there are bound to be multiple reviews of each application, and even comparison articles and blogs – take your time and test them out.
- Seek solutions that solve more than one need in your business and workflow. Team collaboration software offers an array of solutions in a single product. MS Teams is an example where you can do pretty much anything from chat and video calling, projects and knowledge base and so much more. But again – be sure to test out the tools before implementing. Just because an application says it is a projects app, doesn’t mean that it is a good projects app. Try them out with a small group of colleagues – or for a project, and see how it fits. Most subscription applications come with a free trial – so it won’t even cost you anything to test.
- Plan ahead. Don’t just select an application that will fix your current problems – look for an app that will get your business to the next level – and if it does, will it still be a viable app? If not – that’s also fine, at least you know that you have time to solve the next problem, before it happens! The point is, you are planning ahead!
- Finally, stay informed – Applications are being built, customised enhanced and updated daily – follow blogs on business applications, follow the app developers on social media, and interact with them, give them feedback and ask questions – you never know what could pop up!
The key points to me in conclusion, are:
- You implement apps to save you time and money. Constantly evaluate the business benefit of using a specific app, or better yet employ an expert to evaluate your business processes and recommend the best apps for your business;
- Research the apps that are available. The world of tech is changing so rapidly, not being aware of the automation tools that are out there, can be very costly;
At 118Accounting, our mission is to help small businesses grow and scale. We do this by using the best available technology that suits your business needs. If any of the above pains resonate with you contact us for a systems audit.