The Shocking Cost of Wasted Technology In the Workplace

by Glenn Hicks on January 8, 2019

Sometimes the things that drain a company’s budget are obvious—like too much real estate. But often there are sneakier budget thieves—like wasted technology in the workplace.

It’s easy to add new software, but when you don’t keep track of what you have, you can end up spending a lot of money on workplace technology no one actually uses.

Here’s a look at just how much that unused technology is costing you.

How Much Companies Waste on Technology In The Workplace

The cost of wasted technology in the modern workplace is a lot higher than you think.

Consider these statistics:

  • In the U.S., companies waste an average of $247 per desktop on unused or rarely used software. (1E Software Usage and Waste Report, 2016)
  • Nationally, the total cost is nearly $30 billion per year.
  • As a direct result of inefficient or ineffective communication, companies lose between $11,000 and $15,000 per employee per year. (CIO Insight)
  • Inadequate or outdated technology leads 18 percent of employees to download unauthorized third-party apps without consulting IT, according to Ring Central, which can lead to costly network security issues.
  • Nearly 70 percent of employees say they spend up to an hour per day navigating between apps, including email, office programs, file sharing and video conferencing.
  • Employees report losing an average of 22 minutes per day dealing with technology-related problems. (Robert Half Technology survey, 2016)

Why This Happens

There are a handful of reasons why companies end up having more workplace technology than they need.

One reason is having outdated technology to start with, which leads employees to seek out quick fixes and work-around solutions—like third-party apps or software that isn’t supported.

Another problem is rushing to add innovative technology “for tech’s sake” without considering how it supports the organization’s larger goals.

Unused technology in the workplace can also stem from a disconnect between the IT department and individual department managers. Those individuals are typically looking for the fastest solution and are less concerned about redundancies or whether the existing IT hardware and software can support it.

The IT team, on the other hand, is more interested in the backend side of things. So if they implement a new software without talking to the end users, the company may shell out thousands of dollars on a product the workforce doesn’t use. If the IT department and individual departments like facilities management and human resources aren’t in alignment from the beginning, they could end up having months of back-and-forth discussion that stalls progress and wastes valuable resources.

How to Streamline Technology In the Workplace

To avoid unused technology in the workplace and the costs that come with it, consider these three questions before you invest in a new solution:

  1. What do we want to accomplish?
  2. What’s our plan for using the data this new technology will capture?
  3. Do we really need it?

If you determine the new technology is necessary, consider whether it will integrate with your existing software.

And look for a solution that solves multiple challenges in your workplace, rather than just one.

iOFFICE and the Hummingbird EX app can help you reduce your tech stack while improving your employee experience. See both in action—request a free demo today.


Glenn Hicks

A member of the Business Development team, Glenn has years of experience with business process improvement on the Commercial Real Estate and Facilities Management sides.

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