Combating app fatigue in Key industries in the Washington DC Metro Area

Combating app fatigue in Key industries in the Washington DC Metro Area
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The number of apps and web tools that employees in Washington DC's financial institutions, dental providers, universities, and mortgage and title companies use on a regular basis continues to grow. Most departments have around 40-60 different digital tools in use, and 71% of employees feel that the sheer number of apps makes their work more complex.

Many of the apps we use daily in these industries come with various alerts, such as notifications for Teams channels, software updates, or potential security issues. This "app fatigue" can lead to cybersecurity risks, as employees may become overwhelmed by the constant barrage of notifications and start ignoring them.

Some common digital alerts that employees in these industries receive include:

  • Software apps on work computers
  • Web-based SaaS tools specific to their industry
  • Mobile apps and tools for managing patient or client data
  • Email banners
  • Text messages from colleagues or service providers
  • Team communication tools like Slack or Microsoft Teams

Ignoring alerts and updates can lead to productivity loss and increased cybersecurity risks. Let's examine how app fatigue puts companies at risk and what strategies can be employed to address the issue.

How Does App Fatigue Put Companies in Washington DC's Key Industries at Risk?

  1. Employees Begin Ignoring Updates: In industries like finance, dental care, education, and mortgage & title services, employees may feel constantly behind due to the interruptions from app alerts. This can lead to ignoring small, seemingly non-time-sensitive tasks, like installing app updates. Ignoring updates can leave devices and networks vulnerable to cyberattacks.
  2. Employees Reuse Passwords (and They’re Often Weak): With multiple SaaS accounts required in these industries, employees are more likely to reuse passwords, with an estimated 64% of passwords being reused. Credential breaches are a major cause of cloud data breaches, and weak passwords reused across accounts only exacerbate the problem.
  3. Employees May Turn Off Alerts: In an effort to regain control, some employees may turn off all the alerts they can, including important security alerts. This can leave their devices and networks vulnerable to threats, as critical warnings may be missed.

Strategies to Address App Fatigue in Washington DC's Key Industries

  1. Streamline Your Business Applications: Reducing the number of apps used can improve both productivity and security. Evaluate the tools currently in use to identify redundancies and consider adopting an umbrella platform like Microsoft 365 or Google Workspace to consolidate services under a single login.
  2. Have Your IT Team Set up Notifications: To ensure employees aren't overwhelmed by notifications but still receive critical alerts, work with your IT team to set up and manage app notifications.
  3. Automate Application Updates: Automating device and software updates through a managed services solution can improve security and remove the burden of manual updates from employees.
  4. Open a Two-Way Communication About Alerts: Encourage open communication between employees and managers to discuss the effective use and management of app alerts to promote a more productive work environment.

Need Help Taming Your Cloud App Environment in Washington DC and the surrounding areas?

If your financial institution, dental practice, university, or mortgage and title company is struggling with app fatigue, consider seeking help to consolidate and optimize your cloud app environment. Reach out to an experienced IT service provider today to discuss your options.

Article used with permission from The Technology Press.

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Jamie Larson
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