Report: IT would rather have easier software than time off


A new report by Freshworks finds bloatware is a major headache, hindering productivity and causing frustration.

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As concerns of a recession loom, a new report is making the case for IT leaders to prepare by controlling software costs. The study by Freshworks finds that there is $19,138 of wasted time per IT pro annually, or $84.65 billion in wasted time each year, across the entire U.S. IT industry.

Some 89% of 2,000 IT professionals surveyed said they waste time every week working with or supporting bloatware — unwanted software that Freshworks claims is becoming a global problem.

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“Overly complicated software is not only hindering productivity but also causing frustration among IT pros,’’ the report said. “They want more of less: Less bloat; less waste; less complexity.”

In fact, the report also revealed that 44% said they would rather have easier software than more paid time off.

The cost of wasted time

Global IT pros said they could save an average of seven hours and 19 minutes of work per week by reducing bloatware — showcasing that the bloatware problem is ubiquitous and burdensome, the Freshworks report said. In the U.S. alone, IT pros said they could save on average seven hours and 45 minutes of work per week by reducing bloatware.

The vast majority (89%) said they waste time every week working with or supporting bloatware, and three in four are wasting more than an hour per week.

IT stays silent while bloatware rages on

The study also found that IT workers are not speaking up and that 70% are hesitant about voicing feedback on the software their company uses. They cited not wanting to be seen as a complainer (21%), their company having a history of ignoring feedback (21%) and  not believing they will be listened to (17%).

Ease of use is the top consideration when making software decisions, with 60% of IT pros calling it a driving factor. Ease even beat out cost, which was only labeled a driving factor by 45% of respondents.

Software should be easy

Fifty-four percent said their organization pays for software their IT teams never use, while 45% said their organization spends too much on its tech stack.

Further, 40% said too much of their tech stack is hard to use, and 34% said their organization doesn’t know how to stop paying for unnecessary services.

An overwhelming 94% said that their company could benefit from reducing their overall software contracts. Seventy-one percent said their company would benefit from replacing complex software with simpler software.

Other respondents went further, with 63% saying they would prefer a single software solution for IT service management rather than several.

Frustrating software impacts motivation and performance

It’s no secret many IT professionals have issues with legacy software. The Freshworks report found that 60% hate using outdated legacy software that isn’t easy to use.

“To make matters worse, some even feel their software decisions reflect how their company values them,’’ the report noted.

For example, 36% of IT pro respondents said that being forced to use outdated legacy software makes them want to quit their job. Thirty-five percent said they don’t think their company cares about them when they make them use “bad software.”

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Nearly nine in 10 IT pros expressed frustration with the software their company uses, with respondents saying it slows down their work (35%), lacks flexibility (33%) and requires multiple programs to do their job effectively (30%), according to the report.

“Legacy SaaS companies have overextended on making sure their technology ticks all the feature boxes on the CIO’s list,’’ the report said. “Users are getting bogged down with add-ons, most of which go unused, which means they often hate the software they use all day long. Instead, IT teams want software that’s easy, fast and just works. As software packages increase in complexity, user satisfaction decreases — and so does the time/cost benefit to companies.”

Software bloat leads to burnout

The pandemic and remote work have elevated mental health to an everyday issue — especially in tech. More than four in five (82%) IT pros are burnt out and over a third (36%) said that they are the most burnt out they’ve ever been in their career.

More than half (56%) of respondents said that their burnout impacts their initiative and motivation at work. While burnt-out IT staff reported that today’s software is often part of the problem, they also acknowledged that better software can be part of the solution:

  • 48% said the software their company uses feels like it was made a decade or more ago.
  • 44% said that easier-to-use software would help reduce their burnout.
  • 43% said that too much of their tech stack is hard to use.
  • 40% said having software that reduces their workload would help reduce their burnout.

The report said the main things an organization can do to help reduce burnout among IT pros are to provide better benefits (44%), easier-to-use software (42%) and more vacation days (38%).


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