Are You Buried Under an Avalanche of Apps?

Smartphone AppsDo the words, “It seemed like a good idea at the time,” ring a bell?

If you’re like many small business owners, you and your employees have downloaded beaucoup apps onto your smartphone and other devices, because they seemed useful…at one point in time.

There’s another variation on “app creep,” and that’s when one app that you love spins off another app—like Foursquare seems poised to do. In any case, according to a report by Intermedia – Death by 1000 Cloud Apps – small businesses are being bogged down by an over-abundance of apps. The report concludes that this glut of apps makes small businesses contend with:

  1. Too many choices,
  2. Too much to manage,
  3. Too many logins, and
  4. Too much risk.


We all know how kids freeze when they are presented with a display case full of yummy treats and have to narrow down their choice to one. It’s the same with apps. Small businesses spin their wheels doing all the due diligence required to select an app that is right for their team—well, at least if they really take the time to figure out if it will perform as advertised and if that performance is something that will actually benefit the business.


According to the math presented in the report, if you have 15 people using an average of 5.5 apps each, that’s 82.5 accounts that will need to be managed day in and day out. Of course, as more apps get added and the business evolves, there are all kinds of data migration and integration issues that must be managed. And don’t forget that as a small business owner, you’re responsible for training existing and new employees on these apps.

I’m worn out just reporting these issues…


Here’s some more math from the report: It takes an average of 20 seconds to login to an app; that means that a 75-person small business can rack up more than 570 wasted hours and $13,900 per year in lost productivity. You know the old saying, “The devil is in the details.” Small details add up over time and unfortunately because they are small they often go unnoticed. Advice: start noticing.


Most of the cloud-based apps you deploy will handle personal data or company information that you need to protect. Multiplying your apps multiplies your risk. Further, employees will have many apps deployed on a variety of devices, which can be lost, stolen or inadvertently left somewhere in a “logged in” state.

At the end of “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade,” when Harrison Ford carefully evaluates each vessel and finally grabs one, the attending knight pronounces, “You have selected wisely.” Small businesses need to take the same care and caution when committing to a cloud app, otherwise they’re just making more work for themselves and decreasing productivity.

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