Trimming Your Tech: A CTO’s Guide to Reducing Tech Bloat at the Workplace
Olga Lagunova, Chief Technology Officer, GoTo, highlights their recent IT Priorities 2023 report and best practices for minimising “tech bloat” in an organisation.
Q1. How can we identify and recognise “tech bloat” within an organisation?
Picture a chaotic tangle of wires, each representing a different piece of IT tool, different technologies run by their complex workflows. This is what a “tech bloat” looks like. Far from offering agility, a “tech bloat” manifests itself as a tangled web of underutilised, and often expensive, software tools and applications within an enterprise’s IT system.
The best way to tackle a fragmented technology stack is with IT consolidation. GoTo’s recent IT Priorities 2023 report revealed that 90% of SMEs in India consider consolidation of communication, collaboration, and IT management and support tools as an important initiative for the year. With IT consolidation strategy, organisations can just break free from the shackles of tech bloat. At GoTo, our comprehensive and consolidated IT solutions are built to seamlessly offer flexible IT support and management by bringing world-class proactive and reactive support features under a single pane of glass.
Q2. What criteria or indicators can we use to determine which tools and systems are essential and which ones are redundant?
The very digital tools that should make work easier end up overwhelming IT teams and they are left with too much to do in less time. According to GoTo’s IT Priorities 2023 report, 89% of the Indian IT decision-makers believe that their IT workload was significantly higher last year than before. Globally, 40% of the enterprises also agreed that the reason for upgrades and change was highly driven by their IT teams’ preference.
The pursuit of reducing tech bloat starts with identifying the key factors leading to it. IT leaders must thoroughly assess the current technology landscape and check for:
- Overlapping of functionality: When multiple software tools perform similar tasks, it signifies a suboptimal state of overall performance and a potential drain on valuable technological resources.
- Underutilisation and untapped potential of IT resources: When certain tools remain dormant or are only partially utilised, it raises a flag that points towards the affliction of tech bloat.
- Integration complexities: Developing and maintaining integrations between different applications and business systems is often a complex and resource-intensive task. More tools and vendors associated with an organisation’s technology ecosystem simply means higher complexity in managing and securing this ecosystem.
We believe that in a flexibility-first world, great work happens from anywhere and GoTo strives to enable that. Our flagship product GoTo Resolve is a cost-effective solution for SMEs to enable efficient and smooth IT support and management for their in-office and remote workers. Rescue is another of our flagship enterprise-grade remote support solution with multi-platform remote support features, advanced security capabilities, and ample customisation options.
Q3. What are the challenges associated with maintaining redundant tools and systems within an organisation?
A tech bloat brings forth a host of challenges, including reduced productivity, technical inefficiencies, poor management of IT resources and time, skyrocketing maintenance costs, and leaves IT teams with the constant battle to keep sensitive data secure amidst the chaos of disconnected systems. This not only fragments workflows but also slows down problem resolution, resulting in frustrated employees and wasted time. In fact, a study by Freshworks revealed that 89% of IT professionals waste an average of 7 hours and 19 minutes per week due to bloated applications.
Streamlining applications and their individual use cases will help IT decision-makers to identify where the redundancy lies and how to trim down or consolidate the tech stack. This reduction will enable organisations to allocate resources strategically, save significantly on technology costs and invest in areas that drive competitive advantage. GoTo’s IT tools reduce technical support complexity and headaches for IT teams empowering them to deliver fast, reliable support securely, no matter what size their business is, how many customers they have, or how complex the problems are.
Q4. What are some best practices for minimising tech bloat and ensuring an efficient technology stack?
Technology stack optimisation can be thought of as ensuring that the stack delivers the most business value. This is achieved by:
- Evaluate and rationalise existing applications: Conduct a thorough evaluation of the existing application landscape. Factors such as functionality overlap, user adoption rates, and business value will help leaders make informed decisions about software consolidation, integration, retiring, or upgrading.
- Streamline workflows and prioritise consolidation: Identifying manual and disjointed tasks that can be automated and integrated into a unified system will increase productivity at all levels. Furthermore, the more important thing is to adopt simplified and flexible consolidated IT tools. GoTo Resolve and Rescue both offer robust in-built IT management capabilities and can be easily integrated and deployed with third-party plug-ins across all user devices and allows enterprises to avoid siloed systems.
- Implement centralised governance with a regular review: Establishing a governance framework that aligns technology decisions with organisational objectives and security standards aids clear guidelines for software procurement, usage, and data governance. Regular and proactive assessment of the technology stack ensures perfect alignment with evolving business needs and industry trends.
- Focus on simplifications of the IT “work-to-be-done”: IT teams need and deserve simple and smart tools. As generative AI technologies become more and more powerful and capable, they present great opportunities. One of the key applications for the Large Language Models in IT management is in the simplification of scripts that are automatically deployed across devices. For example, GoTo recently announced an integration with ChatGPT to assist IT technicians in such tasks. As IT teams are constantly strapped for time, generative AI will continue to help improve the productivity of IT technicians by automating administrative and repetitive tasks, simplifying their job with the right insights at the right time, and suggesting the best solutions to the problems.