It doesn’t matter if you’re a developer or a sales rep, the reality of today’s fast-paced environment of building products is that we are using way too many tools to get the job done. These tools are definitely necessary, as no organization or team would go out to acquire a tool that they won’t be using. So at the end of the day, there is good reason for these tools being used.
According to Asana’s Anatomy of Work Index 2021 report, a knowledge worker changes through average of 13 apps, 30 times per day to get their work done. Additionally, Blissfully SaaS trends show that even small companies use 102 apps on average. This number is expected to increase as we see increasing trends in SaaS tool adoption.
In a study done by Qatalog and Cornell University’s Ellis Idea Lab, it was seen that 45% of the respondents pointed out that context switching was making them less productive. It was also noted that it took an average of around 9 minutes for participants to become productive again after switching from one app to another.
In another study conducted by RingCentral, it is expected that we are losing 1 hour of our time just context switching. This is further leading to frustration and simply fatigue as we are constantly battling different distractions between the context switches just to get the work done.
All of this is proving to be counterintuitive to what these individual apps promise. Each solution provider promises increased productivity and rightly so. A product's success lies in how effectively it can solve the problem it has set out to solve. However, we have all missed the bigger picture. Is using all these apps together actually increasing productivity?
The answer from the various reports and research is “not really”. However, it must also be acknowledged that by not using all these necessary apps, certain functions cannot perform in the team and overall organization.
For example, a developer would most likely use an IDE to write their code. What they have to build is known from tasks managed in a project management tool. They would then use an SCM to merge code to a repository from where it will be built and then deployed using a CI/CD tool. Then they will monitor the status of their built codes in various environments. They will respond to disruptions and outages using incident management tools and on-call tools. It is evident that these tools cannot be replaced owing to the velocity and stability they ensure in pushing out new product components.
So let us finally address the problem by exploring some of the solutions available.
One solution is to choose vendors and solutions that provide functionality across the daily workflow. We have seen various vendors take this approach as the value of a consistent UI and the work environment helps mitigate the pains of context switching between apps.
Atlassian is one such vendor that provides solutions across the development spectrum. Atlassian recently released Open DevOps which aims to provide a DevOps bundle of Atlassian's solutions. This is expected as Atlassian already provides different solutions such as Jira in the project management space, Bitbucket with Bitbucket Pipelines in the SCM and CI/CD space, and Opsgenie in Incident Management.
Similar approaches have been seen with Intercom targeting customer support roles with customer communication and support request management. Hence providing all-encompassing tools for CSMs and Sales.
However, no one tool currently has all the functionality that is needed and we often see ourselves having to rely on separate tools. What is worse is that due to these vendors aiming for a single environment it becomes difficult to use tools that may not be tightly integrated into the vendor's environment.
Moreover, at the end of the day, one vendor can’t rule them all. It is likely that a specific functionality provided by a consolidated tool is not at the level of a tools specialized in the functionality.
Over the past few years, teams and entire organizations are looking toward automation as a way to reduce context switch fatigue. This is seen clearly in the number of automation-enabling solutions that have come up in the past few years.
Temporal is one such solution that recently reached a valuation of $1.5B. Many teams are aiming to automate redundant tasks with the goal of allowing themselves to focus primarily on more sensitive and critical tasks.
However, automation is difficult to set up and tools such as Temporal have a significant learning curve. This means that it becomes difficult to adopt automation practices. Moreover, some functions such as developers or legal don’t enjoy the availability of effective automation tools that actually can reduce context switching. This is because practices in these domains are not standard. Hence it is difficult to ensure functionality that is wide enough but still easy to use for such business functions, especially for developers.
A single vendor cannot provide everything effectively. Automation is hard to set up. That is where no-code tools should be considered as they effectively are able to bring all operations that you would perform in all your separate apps, into a single place.
Actioner is one such tool that allows you to easily access and work with all your tools in Slack. Hence effectively reducing context switch and providing a Slack-first experience. As a result, you can easily and productively get rid of App Fatigue.
With the wide range of apps that Actioner provides, devs, sales, product management, support, marketing, and all other functions can now work in Slack.
For example, Devs can leverage the offerings of tools such as Bitbucket, GitHub, and PagerDuty to go through the dev cycle in a single application. Marketing can use HubSpot and Gmail to engage with customers and drive business growth.
Everyone uses what they need to without compromise and without the drag of app fatigue. Everyone is in a single application while still using their necessary apps. To learn more about how you can reduce app fatigue and finally get work done, get started with Actioner!