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The hidden costs of too many apps: Osterman Research’s analysis

Our Death by 1000 Cloud Apps infographic describes the problems SMBs face when their cloud landscape overwhelms them.

I’ve always thought that this was a costly problem for admins. But I hadn’t realized that it was costly for users as well. This section really stood out for me:

cost of cloud web apps per person per hour

In search of more information, I downloaded Osterman Research’s Survey on Application Use Within Organizations. Here’s what they had to say about the sheer breadth of apps:

“We found that when a new employee joins a smaller organization, they are provisioned with anywhere from 3.7 to 8.1 applications, depending on their role; the range for new employees in larger organizations is 3.7 to 8.5. Our research found that the average employee is smaller organizations must be provisioned with 5.3 applications, while the average is 5.8 in larger organizations — across the entire survey sample, the average is 5.5 applications.”

As I continued reading, I found this interesting statement:

“New IT and technical staff are provisioned with the greatest number of applications, while clerical staff members are provisioned with the smallest number.”

I perked up when I read this. This implies that different staff members use different numbers of cloud apps—which means that for some, the productivity cost of logins would be higher than for others.

Sure enough, here’s what Osterman Research found:

average apps per user, line of business

This is fascinating. Broadly speaking, it implies that the more technical you are, the more time you waste switching between apps.

It also underscores the security risks of having too many apps. That’s because the more apps you have, the more likely you are to adopt insecure password practices. Which is a problem when those who have the most apps are also those who access the most sensitive technical data.

About Kirsten Barta

Kirsten Barta is Sr Marketing Communications Manager at Intermedia