Nearly One in Five Hate Their Work Technology with the Power of a Thousand Suns

Survey reveals major disconnect between enterprise technology vendors and end-users, despite $351 billion forecasted to be spent on enterprise software in 2017

Burlington, MA, 

Despite huge investments in R&D and exploding profits, many enterprise technology vendors are overlooking the end-users of their technology. Recent research from Unit4, a world leader in enterprise systems for service organizations, examined end-user sentiment around enterprise technology by surveying more than 1,000 professionals in the U.S. The survey found nearly one in three respondents expressing negative feelings about the software applications they use in their professional lives.

Fear, loathing and apathy in the enterprise 

  • More than one in three professionals (34 percent) express negative sentiment about the software applications they use in their professional lives, broken down as follows:
    • 20 percent believe the software applications they use at work make their workday more difficult.
    • 8 percent said that the technology they use at work makes their day miserable
    • 6 percent have thought about quitting their job because their systems are so inadequate.
  • When asked which statement best describes their feelings toward their work technology:
    • 76 percent selected “meh”
    • 17 percent selected “I hate it with the power of a thousand suns”
    • 7 percent selected “I’d sooner give up my first born than stop using them”

“Three-quarters of people feel ‘meh’ – really? Between the projected spending on enterprise technology and the chest-thumping many vendors are doing these days, apathy hardly seems like an acceptable outcome,” said Scott Kamieneski, Unit4’s Regional President for North America.

Do I have to?

  • The two most common work-related tasks respondents use software or applications for are requesting time off (55 percent) and recording time (48 percent).
  • Expense reporting was also common, with 36 percent of professionals indicating that they use a software system or application to execute the task.
  • Given the options of one extra vacation day per year or one free lunch a week, one in five respondents (20 percent) would still prefer to never submit another expense or time report again.

“Despite widespread adoption of time and expense reporting applications, we were surprised to see how many people truly dislike the tasks. It says a lot that 20 percent of professionals would give up paid time off and or free food in favor of amnesty from time and expense reporting,” said Kamieneski.  

How many solutions is too many and how long is too long?

  • 53 percent of professionals use between two and four different applications to perform common administrative and or operational tasks.
  • Nine percent, nearly one in ten, use six or more software solutions at their workplace.
  • Nearly one in three (32 percent) spend three or more hours a month in enterprise applications performing administrative tasks, and of those, 21 percent spend five or more hours a month.

“There is no reason that Uber can get a car to you with the click of a button, but most professionals are required to make dozens of clicks, often across multiple applications, to perform simple administrative tasks,” said Kamieneski. “Each extra click and login equates to time away from core competencies.”

Where to Improve?

  • When asked if they could change one thing about the technology they use at work, end-users most commonly cited usability (33 percent) or integration (34 percent).
  • 14 percent point to increased automation as the area they would focus on first.

“In our collective rush to unlock and evangelize next-gen tech like artificial intelligence and machine learning, vendors need to be careful not to overlook foundational things like usability and integration. Clearly, this survey shows the industry might be taking end-users for granted, and it should serve as a rallying call to all enterprise tech vendors to reprioritize the people we claim to serve,” concluded Kamieneski.

For more information, visit: http://www.unit4.com/blog/2017/11/unit4-2017-enterprise-tech-end-user-sentiment-survey

Survey Methodology

Unit4 collected responses from 1,057 US-based professionals, 18-years and older and employed full-time via a third-party provider to determine the findings of its Enterprise Technology Sentiment survey. Among those surveyed, 52 percent were female and median income was recorded between $50,000 and $99,999. 

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Emma Keates

Global Head of Communications

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