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| 6 min read

Why L&D tech bloat is costing you money and how to stop it

Tech bloat is a multi billion dollar problem for companies around the globe. But how does this affect L&D and how can you combat it?

Ryan O'Connell Chief Operating Officer

Phone screen with lots of apps

Tech bloat is a very real problem for L&D. Departments have to measure and track so many different variables and KPIs, often with limited budgets and time resource, that you can quickly end up spiralling into buying subscriptions to a multitude of platforms to manage everything from skills to content to comms to onboarding. 

Whilst it is mostly obvious, we see organisations fall into the trap of feeling like they need everything, or accept it as a cost of doing business. However, there is an answer! Consolidation. 

THRIVE has worked extremely hard to be the only Learning and Skills Platform that an organisation needs. And we didn’t just do that because there was nothing else to do. But we knew adding to your tech stack isn’t the answer. But instead we saw an opportunity to take the best and most in-demand features from the market's best comms and skills tools and built it directly into our modern-day LMS. 

But why? What exactly are companies losing out on by not consolidating their tech stack? 

Well let’s start with the most valuable resource: 


Wasted time

Be honest : how many times do you have to message or ask a coworker asking them the location of a file or video in the shared drive?

Probably quite a lot, unless you have shown a superhuman level of dedication to naming and storing files. Well, imagine that instead of just one shared drive, there’s five, each with different naming conventions and ways of storing data, and that you work at a company that employs 3,000 people all facing the same problem. That ten minutes of searching increases exponentially if everyone is doing it, and that's one of the main problems of tech bloat, that it reduces organisational effectiveness. 

And whilst wasted time may feel immeasurable, there’s actually been studies conducted on the toll this form of tech bloat takes on technology, with as much as $84B annually being spent on essentially wasted time in the US alone. That’s a mind boggling number and one that cannot be sustainable through a market downturn.

Consolidating your learning tech into one platform is a surefire way to reduce this wasted time and resource. Instead of having separate platforms and mediums for learning, skill tracking, communications and connectivity, you can have a single source of truth with an excellent search engine built in, meaning all of the above is at your learners fingertips and easily accessible.

Wasted money

As much as time is money, money is also money. 

SaaS is an absolute behemoth of an industry, scheduled to weigh in at a whopping $195 billion U.S. dollars this year. You almost definitely use some form of SaaS in your business, and it's very easy to forget that these platforms cost money each month to use. But what is almost always forgotten is the cumulative cost of these platforms, and whether the idea of consolidation might work to counteract some of the downturn in the market we have seen.

Take the 3,000 person company example I used above. Say they want to track skills, create and host elearning content and send out comms. Let’s breakdown their budget sheet : 

  • They subscribe to the “professional” level of an unnamed skills platform for £1,050 a month.
  • They have a subscription to an unnamed learning management system for £7,530 a month. (sidenote: it’s 2023 people, finding pricing information for an LMS shouldn’t be as hard as I found it when doing research for this article. Come on, put it on your website!).
  • They also have a subscription to an unnamed email service allowing them to customise emails to their entire workforce at £285.24 a month.

That alone takes their monthly overall tech costs at £8,865.24, which annually means they are spending £106,382.88 on software to manage their L&D functions. 

Pretty high right?

Seems even higher when you consider you get all the above functionality for £52,500 a year with THRIVE. That’s a massive 50.65% decrease in annual costs you can get by using a solution that has all that functionality baked in. 

And these numbers don’t even cover some of the eye watering implementation costs that some providers charge just to get set up! With THRIVE, you get a dedicated implementation team, as well as access to a community of L&D professionals through our THRIVE Tribe, all for absolutely no charge. 

Take a look at your own cumulative tech stack, break down the pricing and see whether you can consolidate some of that cost, I bet you will be surprised.

Wasted opportunities

Let’s be honest, no one likes having a different platform for every aspect of their job. 

It’s tough to manage, demoralising and the reason that thousands of startups exist specifically with the intention of helping people manage their subscriptions. But have you ever considered the financial implications of the demoralisation and reduced effectiveness that tech bloat might be having?

Working with old or scattered software is so demoralising that 44% of IT professionals would give up extra vacation time just to work with a better tech stack. There’s no more damning stat than people literally being willing to give up free time just to fix a problem. This will no doubt increase staff turnover which is an expensive problem to manage, one no business can ignore in 2023. Gallup also showed how highly engaged workers have 17 percent greater productivity and are associated with a 21% higher profitability than companies with less engaged workers.

As management and leadership, you should be looking to make the jobs of your employees and learners as smooth as possible, so you can unlock their creativity and potential. One massive way you can do that is by reducing the number of platforms they have to manage, and L&D is such an easy way to start. If you want to chat to one of our amazing team about how we can consolidate your L&D budget and give your learners a single platform to thrive on (see what I did there), you can schedule some time to chat with us here!

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