App Silos and the Reality of Digital Workplace Productivity

Learn how to break down app silos stemming from the use of multiple digital solutions and thereby improve your organizations productivity.

The proliferation of enterprise platforms like Office 365 and the Atlassian ecosystem has enabled businesses to innovate at speed.

With teams sharing knowledge on SharePoint, communicating on Slack, and managing projects on Jira, it seems that everyone has just the right tools in place.

The array of digital solutions have been deployed to solve specific needs. However, this has created silos that impede productivity and collaboration.

In fact, 56% of employees found searching for information in different apps to be disruptive. Siloed apps create information walls. This prevents your team from getting the intended benefit of the solution.

What Are App Silos?

You’re probably familiar with the term workplace silos, wherein departments or teams within an organization work in an isolated manner. Silos impede collaboration and information sharing.

App silos are similar in a sense where disparate applications hinder collaboration. Different tools achieve different functions. For instance, OneDrive for cloud storage and SharePoint for team collaboration.

BP: App silos onedrive
BP: App silos sharepoint

There’s pretty much a digital tool for almost any business need you could imagine. However, inefficiencies occur when they’re used separately and information isn’t shared transparently.

How Siloed Apps Affect Your Digital Workplace Productivity

Applications have enabled workers to stay connected and productive. However, the number of solutions used creates inefficiencies.

RingCentral reports employees using up to four communication apps. The study also mentions that 7 out of 10 workers waste up to an hour of work daily to navigate between apps. This can result in a total of 32 days worth of lost productivity per year.

In addition to productivity loss, there are other surprisingly common effects:

  • Information silos
  • App fatigue
  • Interrupted workflows

Let’s explore these app silo effects in more detail.

App Silo Effect 1: Information Silos

Picture this: your marketing department is discussing campaign details via Microsoft Teams while your software developers are releasing product updates using Confluence.

Both teams are unaware of each other’s activity, resulting in a disjointed workflow with crucial information falling between the cracks. It’s also time-consuming for each team member to switch between apps to find the information they need.

Sounds familiar? You may be suffering from the first effect of siloed apps – information silos.

App silos are the precursor to information silos. With three-quarters of employees having up to five apps open at the same time, there’s a wealth of information available from multiple platforms. Somewhere along those streams of information, gaps occur.

Fragmented apps create different sources for referencing information, further blurring the line of what is the single source of truth. This creates misalignments, which can lead to more severe discrepancies if not addressed early on.

App Silo Effect 2: App Fatigue

Let’s face it, digital solutions have taken over both our personal and professional lives. When it comes to workplace apps, the “less is more” rule applies.

More digital tools bring more complexities and result in app fatigue. Your teams may be less likely to adopt certain apps, or worse, they may fall into a productivity slump due to app overload.

While tech fatigue has gained traction among consumers in the B2C market, its effect on employees in the B2B realm is still obscure. However, it’s worth noting that your teams are consumers and end-users of apps too.

Compared to consumers, your teams may not have the luxury of limiting their digital platform usage, let alone uninstall apps.

Before you invest in your next must-have enterprise application, here are some questions worth considering:

  • Can my existing applications be upgraded to perform the new app’s function?
  • Is the time invested in the adoption stage of the new app a fair trade-off for my teams’ output?
  • How can this application be interoperable with my existing ones?

App Silo Effect 3: Interrupted Workflows

Breaking down information silos is the key to better cross-functional collaboration.

Of course, this is easier said than done, since different teams require different software to carry out their tasks. Without a centralized platform for knowledge sharing, information can be scattered across applications.

The time taken to search for the right information from various tools interrupts workflows. In fact, studies show that 31 percent of workers have lost their train of thought while navigating between apps.

Finding the middle ground of having a platform that meets all of your teams’ requirements and does not interfere with your workflow is crucial towards smooth cross-team collaboration.

Unifying Digital Workspaces: The Solution to App Silos

So, how do you continue using applications for your digital workspace without compromising digital productivity? By consolidating them on a single digital hub.

Our Space Navigator for Office 365 enables you to have an overview of all your Office 365 and Atlassian workspaces in one place.

Pin your favorite spaces with Space Navigator for Office 365

Space Navigator acts as a central hub for all your digital spaces. By pinning your Space cards, you can find your go-to workspaces with ease and access them immediately.

By having all your essential projects and teams organized in a single platform, you’ll save time navigating through tools and reduce the effects of app silos.

A unified digital workspace eliminates the inefficiencies that come from toggling between different applications, allowing you to jump into work effortlessly.

Using Space Navigator, you can filter and search relevant project data based on location, department, keyword, or contact person within a matter of seconds.

Concluding Thoughts

Digital productivity wouldn’t be possible without the functionality of applications. But to get the full value of your technology investment, you must first break down app silos.

Successful businesses are choosing a solution that integrates collaboration apps into current workflows. That way, whether it’s Office 365 or Atlassian tools, employees can now work together more effectively through a connected digital workplace.

Get Space Navigator for your Office 365 and Atlassian Workspaces today!

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