Death by 1000 Cloud Apps

The 2014 Intermedia SMB Cloud Landscape Report

If you’re being crushed by the weight of the SMB cloud, you’re not alone. This report looks at the challenges that come with embracing the cloud. And it gives you solutions that can save you from “Death by 1000 Cloud Apps”.

Key Findings

14.3 The Average number of Apps per smb
5.5 The Average number of Apps per employee
$15 The Average drag on each employee's Productivity, Monthly

Death by 1000 Cloud Apps

Is there such a thing as
too many cloud apps?

At first, every new cloud app means one less server to manage. Everyone high-fives as the server racks are emptied out and replaced with a foosball table.

But then, one day, there are just too many apps. Finance starts complaining about managing all the vendors. Users tire of remembering complex passwords and take insecure shortcuts. IT plays endless whack-a-mole with integration issues. The IT guys feel like crying, but they no longer have a server room to cry in.

Good news: you’re not alone.
Intermedia’s 2014 SMB Cloud Landscape Report explores the four main problems that SMBs experience with a sprawling cloud. And — thankfully — it presents two broad strategies for avoiding death by 1000 cloud apps.

When there are too many apps, there are…

1. Too many choices!

The pain of a new cloud app begins even before you deploy it. In fact, it begins even before you know the app exists. That’s because there are so many apps to choose from that your productivity practically grinds to a halt. Here’s what you face.

There were an unbelieveable 201 different Services deployed across the companies surveyed!
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When there are too many apps, there is…

2. Too much to manage!

The average employee uses 5.5 apps.

You thought the pain was over? It’s just beginning. Now you have to juggle licenses, manage devices, provide support and generally try to wrangle the madness. The more employees you have, the crazier it gets. Here’s what you’re up against.

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When there are too many apps, there are…

3. Too many logins!

It isn’t just IT and finance who suffer the effects of a runaway cloud landscape. Employees suffer, too. That’s because they’re the ones who suddenly have to track ever-increasing numbers of login URLs and passwords. This has massive security implications, which we’ll discuss in a moment. But even before we consider security, we have to contend with the loss of productivity. Here’s what we mean.

5.5 Apps Per Employee, 20 Seconds per App Login
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When there are too many apps, there is…

4. Too much risk!

Most users are perfectly capable of creating and remembering unique strong passwords for every one of their apps. But not all users are willing to do so. And that’s the problem: when users are forced to remember a bunch of passwords, they get sloppy. And hackers LOVE sloppy passwords: 76% of network intrusions exploit weak or stolen passwords.1 Here’s what creates your risk.

1 2013 Data Breach Investigation Report, Verizon, 2013

But all is not lost you can have your apps and keep your sanity!

Here’s how to embrace the cloud without killing IT.

1Manage less. Look for a “one-stop shop” for cloud IT.

Too much choice? Too much to manage? Too many logins? Too much risk? There’s an easy way to slash all four of these problems: get your fundamental IT services from a single provider. Email, telephony, file sharing, collaboration, security, archiving, mobility, and so on: a one-stop shop for these apps offers far less pain for your business. Here’s why.

2Login once. Deploy a single sign-on portal.

Test link.

But what about all your other apps? The ones you can’t get from a single provider? You still face weak passwords, lost productivity during logins, and security issues on multiple devices.

The solution is to give users a Single Sign-On (SSO) portal. This offers one-click access to ALL their cloud apps, with just one strong password to remember. From the user standpoint, an SSO portal makes IT simple again.

Remember the days when everything you needed was accessed through the Start menu? For users, an SSO portal makes things just that easy again. Better still, an SSO portal pays for itself.

See how much you’ll save
with a Single Sign-On portal

Number of users in your company


Average number of apps per user


Average yearly salary per user


Number of password-related help desk calls per month


Cost per help desk call


Assumptions: 20 seconds per login; 1 login per app, per day; 250 workdays per year; $4 per user per month for SSO portal.

An SSO portal saves you:

$ per year
days to roi per month

Without an SSO portal,
you waste:

hours of yearly productivity
$ of yearly salary
$ of yearly IT budget

Got too many apps?
This white paper teaches how to survive.

Osterman Research has surveyed the SMB cloud landscape and identified strategies for survival.

Osterman Research has surveyed the SMB cloud landscape and identified strategies for survival.

Are you struggling under the weight of 1000 apps?
Join the conversation at #TooManyApps or follow @intermedia_net.

Sources: Osterman Research, The Benefits of Vendor Consolidation and Centralized IT Management, June 2014; Bureau of Labor Statistics, Table B 2014; 12013 Data Breach Investigation Report, Verizon, 2013

Read the study now

Download the Osterman Research Report






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