Tool Sprawl: A Toxin to Productivity

This post is only a summary of our research and findings, for more information take a look at our complete and comprehensive Tool Sprawl Analysis

Tool Sprawl

Technology is designed to make work faster, easier, and more effective. From the industrial revolution to the internet, technology over the centuries has transformed work in almost unimaginable ways. And with every new advancement business productivity has always improved, at least, until now. Despite our golden age of technological advancements, workplace productivity has begun to steadily decline for the first time in almost 50 years. With more resources available than ever, decreasing workplace productivity doesn’t seem to make sense. At least until you take a look at tool sprawl.

Tool sprawl occurs when companies expand their overall tools to the point of hindering rather than helping progress. It almost always happens gradually and creeps up in every industry. At first, you take on a new tool to solve a specific problem. Then your department designs an in-house program to address a unique need, and on, and on. Before you know it, what started out as a few simple solutions has turned into resources beyond management.      
Tool sprawl isn’t limited to just enterprise organizations either. The average employee, regardless of business size, uses more than 6 tools on a daily basis. And if left unchecked, tool sprawl just continues to expand. Tool sprawl is more than just an inconvenience but is detrimental to company productivity at every level.  

Damaging Individual Efforts       

Tool sprawl literally slows down every aspect of the employee experience. With resources spread out across multiple platforms, it takes a ridiculous amount of time just to find, open, and navigate everything you need. Recent research even indicated that while individual work tools might make specific tasks faster, the saved time is completely negated by how long it takes to continuously switch between so many programs.

With information everywhere, it can be almost impossible to track down past conversations, relocate shared files, or reference recent reports. According to a Hubspot report, 82% of employees lose up to an hour every day just managing all of their tools, forcing them to cut back on important revenue generating practices like content creation and lead followthrough.

Even if employees do manage to master all of their tools, regularly switching between platforms forces employees to multitask, something research has proven is bad for our brains. When we try to multitask the brain is forced to rapidly switch from task to task, creating a state of constant distraction and making us more susceptible to mistakes and mental fatigue.        

Preventing Team Productivity   

Tools sprawl does more than just mess with the individual work experience, it affects the collaborative environment as well. When information is scattered across different tools it’s difficult for teams to gain insights and work well together. Without a simple way to share resources, express thoughts, and collaborate on ideas, work can never reach its full potential.

Tool sprawl also invites damaging data sprawl into an organization. Data sprawl occurs when information needed by multiple employees is located across dozens of different tools, forcing employees to either redo work, go without, or try to navigate unfamiliar tools used by another employee. Tool sprawl is one of the major reasons 80% of employees attribute ‘lack of collaboration or ineffective business communication tools’ as the primary cause of workplace failures.

Deterring Corporate Achievement 

And even when teams do develop a successful system, tool sprawl still finds a way to negatively impact the corporate environment. Devising customized sharing methods seems like an alright answer until work has to be transferred to another department. Suddenly, trying to integrate the tools and tactics of dozens of different teams can create a real problem. Instead of a seamless handoff, transitions become tedious reconstruction tasks.

This problem is even more exacerbated for employees who simultaneously operate between teams. In a recent survey, 25% of managers listed a lack of end-to-end network visibility as their greatest challenge in maintaining successful operations. Working this way not only takes up time but means leaders are more likely to miss workplace correlations and important insights.

For the IT department, the situation is even more discouraging. According to a Gartner report, tool sprawl is one of the 10 most common challenges faced by CIOs. With multiple tools spread throughout the business, IT staff suddenly have to become experts in over a dozen different platforms, let alone monitoring and resolving issues for each one. As a result,  IT work becomes overtaxed, putting unnecessary strain on employees and often resulting in users failing to receive the support they need.

Hindering Consumer Experiences   

Perhaps worst of all, tool sprawl affects the final consumer experience. Tool sprawl is expensive in almost every way imaginable. From obvious costs like licensing fees and training to the less measurable, but still significant, wasted time and decreased employee engagement. And unfortunately, when it comes to extra business expenses consumers literally have to pay the price, negatively impacting existing customers and discouraging future sales.  

The plethora of tools involved in managing client information increases security concerns as well. With more tools accessing customer information, the risk of potential hacks, breaches, data leaks, and other susceptibilities naturally increases. Without serious diligence client content could become mismanaged or misplaced in any number of areas, creating if not irreversible damage at the very least serious problems with productivity.  

Take Back Tool Sprawl With MangoApps  

Meet the antithesis of tool sprawl, more commonly known as Mango Apps. Unlike disorderly tool sprawl, MangoApps is an integrated employee platform, providing companies with a truly consolidated workspace. Our individual, team, and company centered features help organizations break down silos and find success at every stage. With personalized calendars and to-do lists, designated team meeting spaces, interactive company intranets, and hundred of other abilities, working effectively has never been easier.

Tool Sprawl

Working in MangoApps is more enjoyable too. With MangoApps, collaboration occurs organically, helping employees stay productive while still orchestrating a fun and uplifting environment. And working in a centralized area lets everyone see content in context, eliminating multitasking, encouraging informed decisions, and saving employees both time and mental energy.    

MangoApps also seamlessly integrates with all kinds of existing systems, dual syncing data and incorporating our advanced security features.  We even protect employees from unwanted emails and annoying spam. MangoApps was built to overcome tool sprawl and empower company productivity. To learn more about MangoApps and how we strengthen organizations of every size, contact us or schedule a personalized demo today.  

Download The Complete Tool Sprawl White Paper

Download The Complete Tool Sprawl White Paper