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6 tips for operations leaders to optimize their organization’s tech stack

Connor Grossman author photoConnor Grossman
7 января 2024 г.
3 мин. на чтение
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6 tips for operations leaders to optimize their organization’s tech stack
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Summary

A tech stack full of redundant tools puts employee efficiency and financial health at significant risk. Take a proactive approach and discover the steps you can take to trim, consolidate, and optimize your organization's tech stack.

Organizations are grappling with an overwhelming number of tools—323 SaaS applications on average—leading to fragmented workdays and diminished productivity. 

The problem started over the last few years, when businesses overinvested in collaboration tools to compensate for lack of face-to-face interactions. But it did more harm than good. According to one study, employees at Fortune 500 companies switch between apps and tools approximately 1,200 times a day.

Now organizations need leaders, especially in operations, to take a strong stance on what new tools are necessary. Otherwise, a tech stack full of redundant tools puts employee efficiency and financial health at significant risk. In taking a proactive approach, operations leaders can help organizations avoid this outcome.

By following the six steps below, operations leaders can engage in application rationalization, a process in which you strategically identify which of your organization’s applications should be kept, replaced, retired, or consolidated. The result is an optimized tech stack for your business. Here’s how to get started:

Maximize impact with your tech stack in 2024

Set your organization up for operational success in 2024. Discover the hidden cost of an inefficient tech stack—and find out how to evaluate the efficiency of your own.

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1. Conduct a tool audit

Tool redundancy is a huge drain on organizations. Centralizing work data on as few platforms as possible should be an operations leader’s priority. But with potentially hundreds of tools in a tech stack, it’s almost impossible to track what each one does. 

With your operations teams, conduct a thorough "tool audit" to catalog every software and application in your organization. For each tool, clearly define its primary purpose and the specific use-case it addresses.  If you can't articulate the purpose of a tool, it's a prime candidate for elimination.  

Compile this information in an easily accessible document or internal webpage. Then share it company-wide so all teams and departments are aligned on how to use these tools. Make this audit a recurring annual or bi-annual exercise to keep your tool inventory current and relevant.

2. Identify tools that promote cross-functional work

In a world where cross-functional collaboration is often the catalyst to innovation, choosing the right tools to foster these interactions is essential. The best tools serve more than one individual, project, or goal—they break down silos within teams and across departments. 

Ask your operations teams and other departments what tools they require for more effective cross-functional collaboration. Use this information to help you invest in tools that better connect operations with the entire organization. 

Aim to select a collaboration tool that can consolidate processes, information, and tools into one, central source of work. Because the less time your employees spend switching between apps, the more they have to focus on the work that matters.

3. Streamline your tech stack by prioritizing integrations

An overflowing tech stack is a financial and user headache. Instead of forcing employees to switch between tools to get everything they need, operations leaders should advocate for tools that leverage integrations, which can connect an entire tech stack on one platform. 

Start by identifying your core business tools, then seek out complementary apps that offer robust integrations. Consult with your operations teams and departments across the business that will use these integrations, ensuring they meet team needs. 

Before rolling out changes to your entire organization, run a small pilot program to test the efficiency of these new integrations, measuring their impact against your goals. After successful testing, document the new processes and train your teams.

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4. Assess your organization’s AI readiness

As AI technologies continue to evolve, they offer every department unprecedented opportunities for automating tasks and generating insights. But disjointed tools creat disjointed data, setting a poor foundation for AI. 

Conduct an AI readiness assessment to help your organization be more strategic about incorporating AI into your tech stack.  Identify gaps in data quality, integration, and employee skills. 

Once you've assessed your readiness, begin piloting AI-driven tools that align with your organization's strategic goals. Measure their impact through specific KPIs like time saved, task automation rate, or improved data analytics. After successful piloting, roll out the AI tools across relevant departments, ensuring proper training and change management protocols are in place.

5. Reduce tool fatigue

Assessing an organization’s tech stack should be a data-driven detox for the business, led by operations teams. With employee feedback, operations leaders can better evaluate how tools are impacting teams.  

Do this by creating a survey for your organization to ask departments and teams about the tools they use, and if they’re creating exhaustion. Ask questions about how employees feel when using certain tools. Try to identify which tools are energizing work, and which are draining mental capacity. With that information, identify duplicates, unnecessary tools, and spaces where tools are creating silos that block effective workflows.

6. Let employees weigh in

While it’s important for operations leaders to inform which tools your organization uses, this should be done with employees in mind. Create a feedback loop, where leaders can receive input from employees on what’s working for them and what needs to change. This empowers employees to take an active role in defining your tech stack.

Take the first step by implementing a new channel in your company’s messaging tool where employees can voice concerns about technology issues. Review this as part of your annual planning cycle, collecting and analyzing feedback through the year to identify recurring issues and areas for improvement. You’ll leave employees feeling more empowered and yourself feeling more informed in your tech stack decision-making.

Innovate with an intentional tech stack

Operations leaders stand at a critical crossroads where the choices they make in technology and collaboration today will shape their company’s future. Maximizing your tech stack isn’t about choosing more tools, it's about choosing the right tools—tools that can enhance cross-functional collaboration and serve as a single source of truth, such as a collaborative work management platform.

By going that route and consolidating your tech stack, you'll break down silos, boost employee experience, and create clarity across your organization.

Maximize impact with your tech stack in 2024

Set your organization up for operational success in 2024. Discover the hidden cost of an inefficient tech stack—and find out how to evaluate the efficiency of your own.

Asana's unicorn galloping with a rainbow streak behind it

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