What is application overload?
Application overload is the over abundance in the number of applications a division or company has. Many companies tend to obtain an application for nearly every task. These applications are tailored to this task and guides the user through a number of steps:
- Entering data
- Validating data
- Reporting on the data
- Scheduling other tasks
These applications are extremely good at what they promise and what they do. In fact, the competition among applications is extremely high because of the number of applications available to the user in the marketplace.
Result of application overload
You will encounter many pains having over-abundance of applications including;
- Managing those applications (cost of individual ownership is high, including SaaS applications)
- The need to enter the same data in multiple systems
- Decrease in user productivity because of an over-abundance of tools (study by Pegassystems)
- Reporting across multiple applications is complicated
A disruptive approach
What are the solutions to application overload problems?
- Manage your applications with other tools
Many application exist to help you manage your applications through a common dashboard, and simplifying integration and reporting. Also, using Robotic Process Automation can minimize data entry across applications. Having an overall application strategy is also key.
- Rationalize/reduce your applications
Many companies have many MRP, ERP, CRM systems acquired through acquisition or other means. Consolidating into 1 system is key to reducing overhead
- Revert to using excel
Most companies have used Excel to track part of their business at one point . Everyone understands and loves the flexibility of Excel. Running your entire business on a spreadsheet isn’t ideal for a lot of reasons, but possible.
- Displace many applications with one application
Applications that are extremely flexible can replace a sector of other applications. Few applications have the capability of customizing/tailoring the system to your needs for many tasks especially with a no-code or no-IT approach.
The first 3 solutions are not new concepts. The fourth point describing a no code or low code platform is a new concept.
Forbes states No-Code Is The Future Of Software. The key, I believe is for companies to be able to custom define their business attributes and easily change those attributes. Low code enables companies to change quicker than a traditional, structured application. Especially if a vendor needs to provide you with a patch to track additional information or widgets.
But, a further improvement would be for the business experts, or non-IT individuals, to configure and make changes themselves and not involve the vendor, IT or analysts. This is approach sounds eerily similar to excel. Excel is provides the ultimate in flexibility and adaptable, but excel is terrible for any organization greater than 1.
This ultra flexible system approach could drastically reduce the overall cost of supporting and maintaining an application. But, given the ultra flexible nature, why not store information related to many tasks? Combining the data from many applications into 1 nimble application not only magnifies the savings, but the user touch points and the complexity of your application stack. Also, exponentially reducing the data integrations and complexity of writing reports. Report writing could be done with a single connection to a single data mart!
This disruptive approach of replacing many of your applications with one application would be be appealing to every company. But, certain companies that have highly skilled technical staff could significantly improve many aspects of their day-to-day lives and offer a huge competitive advantage.