Does your enterprise suffer from app overload?

What’s the biggest purported benefit of mobile technology in the enterprise? Increased productivity.

With mobile devices, the thinking goes, workers are able to get things done from anywhere and at any time.

But none of this can be accomplished without cloud-based apps. These tools are necessary to unleash the productivity of mobile enterprise employees.

However, as some  businesses are learning, sometimes you can have too much of a good thing.

Citing a 2016 analysis that shows enterprises use an average of 935 cloud-based apps, CIO Dive contributor Yaacov Cohen writes:

“When it comes to cloud app usage, organizations are taking the wrong approach. Instead of boosting productivity and output, the current model of disjointed cloud services is over-complicating the digital workplace experience. Why? Because the human brain cannot assimilate information coming from 900+ apps in any meaningful way. It is simply too much disconnected information.”

While it’s highly unlikely that enterprise workers must literally use more than 900 apps to do their jobs, Cohen’s basic point about “collective information overload” is quite valid.

“Workers are struggling to use all these apps and services effectively,” he says. “Paradoxically, the more apps they have, the harder it is to be productive.”

Compounding the productivity challenge are:

1) Disconnects between apps

2) Barriers to cross-platform functionality.

Information contained in apps used by the marketing or sales teams too often are siloed and thus inaccessible to the help desk, accounting and other business units. In the latter instance, employees may find it difficult to switch from a desktop to a mobile device while retaining accessibility to data or services and without disrupting their workflow.

Cohen suggests that natural language processing, machine learning and graph technology can help sort and present data to employees contextually, in a way that better aligns with how the human brain processes information. Better-designed apps wouldn’t hurt, either.

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