According to a new study by Osterman Research, the average SMB uses 14.3 different cloud-based apps, with each employee using 5.5 apps. While the efficiency of using cloud-based business applications is real — no servers to manage — the proliferation of cloud-based apps leads to other challenges. Osterman estimates that managing multiple cloud-based apps costs these SMBs $15 per employee per month.
The challenges break down into several areas:
- The crowded marketplace for apps makes selecting new ones too time-consuming
- Managing subscriptions, renewals, user accounts, devices and more is cumbersome with too many vendors
- Employees have difficulty remembering login credentials for multiple apps, and waste time logging in to each of them every day
- Employees are likely to choose easy passwords to deal with login fatigue, thereby increasing the risk of hacking
These challenges can affect SMBs regardless of industry. Without a plan, these companies may actually lose more efficiency than they gained by switching to cloud-based apps; or worse, open themselves up to malicious attacks. Smart SMBs will look for ways to consolidate their business apps on as few technologies as possible, to streamline the app management process.
In fact, 83% of those surveyed for the Osterman report said they wanted to get as many services as possible from one provider. Having one vendor to manage, one location for critical data, one password, one control panel, and one support channel gives SMBs the ability to stop worrying about managing apps and tackle their next business challenge.
Cloud-Based Business Apps Case Study: 3 Men Movers
3 Men Movers is a Houston-area moving company that recently consolidated several business processes (and the business apps that supported them) onto one instance of Intuit QuickBase. Because QuickBase can be customized to meet just about any need, 3 Men Movers was able to deploy QuickBase apps for several different processes, including:
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM). 3 Men Movers can respond quickly to quote requests, track emails and communications, and measure the impact of sales activities with real data. Because the app is mobile-enabled, moving crews can streamline key activities, such as collecting contract signatures, on a tablet in the field.
- Logistics and Planning. A second QuickBase app enables 3 Men Movers to coordinate jobs for 60 trucks and up to 120 jobs each day. All jobs are assigned and tracked in QuickBase, giving 3 Men Movers real time visibility into job progress.
- Customer Satisfaction. Customers are automatically asked to rate their moving crew, and those ratings are stored in a QuickBase app. Any score less than 7 (out of 10) automatically triggers a notification to company leaders.
Because these business apps are all built using QuickBase, 3 Men Movers only needs to manage one license. And each employee only needs to manage one login.
The success of these applications means 3 Men Movers can grow quickly without worrying about app overload. New business apps can be built and deployed quickly to streamline even more processes in the future.
About Intuit QuickBase
Intuit QuickBase is a cloud-based workspace for customizable business applications that helps teams work smarter by automating tasks and workflows and delivering real-time insights through visual reports. More than 450,000 business users rely on Intuit QuickBase to improve productivity.