When Users Don’t Use Your Software

A recent survey found that 91 percent of Americans do not use all the software installed on their machines at work. The results ought to be disturbing not only to enterprise CEOs and CIOs, but also to independent software vendors and solutions providers.

The Enterprise Software Survey, conducted by TNS for Coupa Software, also found that more than one-quarter of those responding said they don’t use the software uploaded on their work computers because it’s not required.

Missed Opportunity for Companies

Izenda Tech Blog logo“It’s an issue that should be on every CIO’s radar today,” Rob Bernshteyn, CEO of Coupa, said. “If companies are providing software that employees won’t use, they are exposing themselves to a host of risks and problems – from wasted resources to potential compliance issues. Whether it’s mission-critical software or a desktop productivity app, if employees aren’t using their work software, it’s not only a major expenditure but also a glaring missed opportunity for the company.”

It’s also not good for independent software vendors and solution providers if users are not buying into using the software they’re selling. If a tool is not widely adopted within an organization, chances are the vendor is missing out on important feedback from their customers. And chances decrease that a company will continue a relationship with the software vendor if they are not getting full benefit from their products.

Why Users Don’t Use Software

According to the survey, the top five end-user reasons for not using software on the job: it slows down/crashes their computer; it’s not reliable, it’s outdated or not user-friendly, or they don’t know it was installed.

Incredibly, there are plenty of users out there who don’t know or understand what software is on their computers, and how it can maximize their performance or benefit their company or organization.

Managing Change in Software Implementation

Even if an application meets every outlined business requirement and functionality, its success rests with the increasingly delicate user adoption phase. Business firm Sand Hill Group conducted a survey in 2012 on user adoption of enterprise software. Over 300 companies reported that “effective usage rates of enterprise software are down compared to two years ago.” Sand Hill reported that about 17 percent of enterprise end-users actually suffered from productivity losses.

“Without acknowledging the multi-faceted issue of managing change during a software implementation, enterprises can run into user adoption issues that tank a project,” Icreon Tech CEO Himanshu Sareen writes. Sareen and others offer tips on how to get users to adopt software.

Non-Work Sites Visited on the Job

Meanwhile, users fully embrace visiting websites not related to their jobs in the workplace. A recent study from GFI Software found nearly 39 percent of those responding said their businesses had suffered a major IT disruption caused by an employee visiting a non-work website, leading to malware and other problems.

The study of 1,010 U.S. employees also showed nearly 36 percent said “they would not hesitate to take company property, including email archives, confidential documents and other valuable intellectual materials, from their work-owned computer before they returned the device if they were to leave their company.”

“Data security and integrity is a big challenge for companies as a result of the widespread movement away from desktop computers to laptops,” GFI Software General Manager Sergio Galindo said. “Since laptops are usually brought home, they frequently get used out of hours for both work and non-work activities.”

And, of course, there are cellphones.

Also from the study:

  • 48 percent said they use a personal cloud-based file storage solution for storing and sharing company data and documents.
  • More than a quarter said they asked their IT department to fix their computer after an issue resulted from non-work use.

Sareen’s article include this headline: “If You Build It, They Won’t Necessarily Come.” Whether the software is in-house, or from a vendor/provider, those are good words to remember.

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