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100 hours to 100 seconds — How to speed up your software setup

The number of software tools we use at work has grown exponentially in recent years, giving rise to the phenomenon known as ‘SaaS sprawl.’ On average, companies now use 89 software applications, rising to 187 in companies of more than 2,000 people. In response, software providers like Notion, Airtable, and ClickUp have tried to combine the functionality and feature sets of multiple applications into a single platform which can be customized to fit your requirements.  

However, the process of setting up these systems is often a slow and difficult process, requiring a huge investment of time and resources, which can run into hundreds of hours over several months. You might think that’s a worthwhile investment, but it doesn’t look so good if you still end up with a solution that’s clunky and hard to use, rather than the smooth and seamless experience you were hoping for.  

Fortunately, Qatalog uses the latest technology in generative AI to make your setup quick and easy, giving you a bespoke operating system to run your business in just a couple of minutes. But before we get into that, it’s worth understanding why setting up software like this has traditionally been so painful. 

1. It takes a long time

Setting up tools like Notion, ClickUp, and Airtable can be a very time-intensive process for a number of reasons. First, the sheer volume of features and customization options can be overwhelming, especially if you’re not familiar with them. You’ve got to get to grips with types, tables, views, databases, hierarchies, relationships, dashboards, and integrations. The possibilities are almost endless, so the first step is to learn how the tool actually works and what you can do. 

Another reason it’s so time intensive is the need for proper data organization. In order to get the most out of these tools, users need to carefully plan out their data structure and ensure everyone will be entering information in a consistent and organized manner. This requires careful thought and attention to detail, as even small errors can impact the effectiveness of the tool in the long run.

And then you have the laborious process of actually designing and building everything. You’ll need to consider the structure of your organization and think about how best to configure the system to fit your requirements. Depending on the size and complexity of the company, this can take a while, and it can be very fiddly joining up databases and making sure everything is working as it should. 

2. Templates aren’t a quick fix

Templates are often touted as a solution to this problem, but they’re no silver bullet. The first problem is that they’re still very generalized and typically fail to take account of the nuances of your business. For example, it’s easy to find templates for a marketing team or for project management. However, you’d be hard pressed to find templates for a marketing team in a fund management business or a project management template for a logistics firm, both of which will look very different to the generic templates. 

Most templates are also optimized for individuals and teams. They rarely consider how an entire business fits together, and trying to piece together 20 different team level templates is going to end very badly, with inconsistent processes and data capture, and a complete lack of overall structure. 

This relates to the other downside of templates; they are incredibly fragile. This is because they rely on strict adherence to the template for them to function properly. Any deviation can cause a deluge of errors, and if you try to use a stack of templates joined together, the outcome will likely be disastrous.

3. You end up relying on technical experts

For large and medium-sized companies, the complexity of implementing and setting up these tools means that you’re likely to need a small team of technical experts and operational folks to get it right, which has a cost attached. It’s also worth noting that while they are technically low-code or no-code tools, you’re likely to still need some basic coding skills or use complex formulas to get the best out of them. Again, this may require someone with a technical background. In many organizations, people like this may be in short supply or in very high-demand, which can slow down the process quite significantly.  

4. The job is never really done

Even after successfully setting up software, you’re never really done. Maintenance and oversight is an ongoing requirement, especially once you get hundreds of people using some of these tools. 

This is because of the level of customization that’s possible without a clear permissions system in place, a problem that Notion in particular suffers with. Allowing everyone the freedom to build their own workspace might sound like a good thing at first, but if everyone starts making changes, it quickly becomes chaotic and the entire structure breaks down. The result is likely to be frustrated employees who can’t access or store the information they need. 

Findings from Qatalog and Cornell University’s Workgeist report reflect this, with 54% of respondents saying that software tools have actually made it harder to find the information they need, even though the opposite should be true. To avoid this, you’ll likely need guidelines in place, as well as people to monitor the tools and ensure the guidelines are actually being followed. 

An (almost) effortless setup experience

Until now, setting up new software tools was an experience you'd want to forget. Try Qatalog.

With Qatalog, you get a made-to-measure platform with all the functionality you need in one place, and getting started takes about 100 seconds. Just tell us a bit about your business and we’ll create a single, centralized Work Hub to run your company’s operations, tailored to your needs. 

This is possible because of Qatalog AI, which deeply understands how different businesses and industries operate and is able to construct bespoke software to meet those requirements.

We know the AI won’t get it exactly right every time just yet, so we’ve made sure it’s super easy for the designated admins to configure the system to your specific requirements, all without a single line of code required. And the clear permission system means you don’t have to worry about someone breaking a template or redesigning the structure. You can just set it, and forget about it. 

There’s no lengthy setup times and endless hours joining up databases. No need to bring in technical experts. No more unnecessary software bloat. Just a single centralized Work Hub that fits like a glove and grows effortlessly with you.

To discover how Qatalog can centralize your operations and streamline your tool stack without the painful setup process, book a call with our Customer Team.

kaitlin-ashley
WRITTEN BY
Kaitlin
Ashley
Product Manager @ Qatalog
Kaitlin is a remote work veteran (since 2015) and having previously worked as a Product Manager at Qatalog, and at InVision running Sales Operations and Strategy. She's particularly interested in the intersection between workers' rights, flexible work practices, diversity, and workplace inclusion.
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