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How an integration platform can improve the productivity of organizations

Are emails killing your productivity? Have meetings become a major time sink? Do your employees spend hours manually updating spreadsheets?

Efficiency experts spend a lot of time discussing strategies for eliminating common productivity drains. Yet many overlook the underlying problem: the fragmented enterprise systems that cause employees to rely on these time-wasting workarounds.

System fragmentation is often the culprit lurking behind an organization’s biggest productivity leaks. Technology in most companies has evolved in a piecemeal fashion over the years as leaders added new systems to handle various aspects of the business, from accounting to human resources to sales and inventory. The proliferation of apps only continues to accelerate; use of enterprise applications grew 125 percent between 2011 and 2015, and the average large company uses more than 500 apps.

Since most of these applications exist in silos, unable to communicate with each other, it falls on employees to bridge the gaps between systems as they go about gathering data and completing basic work tasks. As a result, employees spend hours manually pulling data from various systems into spreadsheets, requesting information via email, and attending meetings for the sole purpose of sharing updates.

An integration platform is the antidote to the fragmentation that plagues many organizations. By integrating all of their disjointed enterprise applications around a single system, organizations can optimize their use of existing technology to achieve new levels of employee productivity and engagement, as well as profitable growth.  As a result, previously siloed enterprise applications are able to work together to provide overarching functionality across departments as well as systems, eliminating the need for productivity-killing workarounds.

Reclaiming lost work time

Siloed enterprise systems cause workers’ time to become fragmented as they’re forced to switch between multiple applications or stop what they’re doing to wait for data from another department. The average employee uses nine different apps at work, and three in four workers keep five or more open at any given time. More than 40 percent have to switch between them just to finish basic work tasks.

Each disruption causes productivity loss as the employee’s brain adjusts to a new task—ultimately taking more than 23 minutes to regain focus and get back in the flow. An employee shifting between two tasks loses 20 percent of their work time this way— and each additional task costs another 20 percent.

When employees get bogged down with disjointed software and business processes, they’re more likely to make mistakes—and less likely to spend time on core duties that help drive business growth. With an integration platform, however, employees can access all their tasks and data from a single place, which means they no longer have to:

  • Switch between applications to accomplish a single task.
  • Waste time searching for data.
  • Re-enter data into multiple systems.

Enhancing productivity through UX

Most enterprise legacy systems weren’t necessarily designed with the user in mind. Far from enhancing employee performance, these applications are notoriously clunky, slow, and generic by design—often failing to meet the individual needs of different business types, says Inc. contributor Drew Hendricks.

“This keeps businesses and individuals from thriving,” he says. “All of this can result in exceedingly slow sales cycles, low user adoption rates, and painfully disorganized workflows that don’t match their company’s business processes. A bad user experience keeps companies and individuals from performing at their potential.”

By integrating enterprise systems, businesses have the opportunity to deliver more intuitive and streamlined user experiences without making any changes to mission-critical software. An employee experience portal like Sapho, for example,  intelligently surfaces important tasks and relevant data from existing legacy, on-premises, and SaaS enterprise systems into a single place. Sapho provides a consistent interface across all systems, enabling companies to leverage previously inaccessible data, simplify workflows, and automate basic tasks—all within a user-friendly portal that is accessible from any device, intranet, or messenger.

An integration platform ensures all of a company’s fragmented apps work together to make employees more effective and productive. As the technology ecosystem within a given organization grows increasingly complex, uniting these disparate systems will become more important than ever.

Topic: Productivity

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