How many apps and software programs do you use in a typical working day? If you sit down and start counting the number of tools you use – from your email to calendar to file shares and multiple job-specific tools, the final figure might surprise you. It’ll also illustrate the importance of workflow connectors for today’s app-reliant world.
And, according to recent research, the average enterprise-level organization is using over 500 apps in some form or another. That’s a huge number of tools to help with everything from marketing products to storing documents to sharing files to discussing projects and capturing customer data. This proliferation of enterprise apps is, by and large, a good thing, giving departments ever more tools to do their work effectively and efficiently.
But these disparate apps introduce some challenges too. In this blog, we’ll explore what these are and how you can resolve them.
The problem with having too many apps
There’s been an explosion in the number of apps that businesses use in recent years. Despite the power of each of these individual apps, having too many can introduce significant problems to the way your business works:
- They create information silos
- Different systems don’t integrate well – if at all
- There may be cybersecurity risks introduced by shadow IT
- Processes and tasks get duplicated
- With hundreds of apps in use, you don’t have insight into how they are connected
Perhaps the major common theme here is that information is not shared smoothly between these apps. If you want to transfer data from one to another, it’s a relatively complex and time-consuming task, often involving manual copying and pasting.
As a very simple example of this issue, say a lead comes in via your website form. The website manager might get an email notification from your website system but would then need to copy and paste the lead’s request into your CRM, before notifying your Sales team about the lead. Even at this very simple level, there’s the potential for mistakes – for the website manager not to see the inquiry, or for the salesperson not to read the notification email. And that means a sales opportunity could be missed.
So, does this mean businesses should clamp down on the numbers of apps their employees are allowed to use? Should you choose only to use, say, the Microsoft stack, demanding all employees stick to this one technology? That might be one solution, but it’s not necessarily effective – or even likely to achieve the desired outcome.
The importance of workflow connectors
Rather than barring employees from using the apps and tools they love, the real solution to the threat of app overload is to connect them. By using technology which brings a wide range of apps into your company’s processes, you allow people to keep using all their favorite tech while also ensuring smooth, seamless information sharing.
Nintex Connectors and Xtensions®
Nintex Connectors offer organizations of all sizes a powerful way of adapting to the rapid growth in app usage in today’s organizations. As part of our workflows technology, these tools allow you to quickly pull in data from a near-unlimited range of third-party apps and tools into your company’s existing workflows.
That means your processes are not restricted to one particular technology stack, and your employees benefit from smooth, efficient sharing of data across platforms.
Connectors provide you with a series of pre-configured ‘hooks’ which allow you to simply drag and drop connections with a wide range of third-party apps into a workflow, including:
- SharePoint Online
- Office 365 apps
- Azure Active Directory
- Microsoft Teams
- Google apps
- And many more
This means that every time you are building a workflow that requires data from any of these tools, you can connect it to that workflow with no coding required.
While Connectors cover many of the most popular enterprise apps used today, we know every business has its own unique needs. And that’s why we also provide you with Xtensions®. The Nintex Xtensions® Framework allows you to build your own connections with countless third-party apps by connecting with their APIs. While you will need a developer to initially create it, it will then be easy to reuse the connection and bring data from those apps into your workflows – just like any standard Connector.
Connecting your apps is crucial
In a business world where organizations are using ever more apps to collect, manage, and analyze data, it is increasingly challenging to ensure this data is shared smoothly between systems. And this means that opportunities are missed, mistakes are made, and time and money are wasted.
At Nintex, we understand the importance of workflow connectors. By using Connectors and Xtensions® to integrate your different apps into a workflow, you ensure smooth, efficient and seamless sharing of enterprise-critical data across the organization. And that means you enjoy the benefits of using many apps, without the drawbacks.
To learn more about the importance of workflow connectors, get in touch with us today.