Global IT professionals spend nearly a full workday each week (an average of 7 hours and 19 minutes) dealing with bloatware – unwanted, overly complicated SaaS add-ons and features that hinders productivity and causes frustration at work, according to new research by software company, Freshworks.

The report found that 89% of the global IT professionals surveyed waste time each week due to pervasive bloated technology, distracting them from their core responsibilities and undermining the bottom line.

The cost of trying to use unhelpful technology amounts to more than USD$84 billion (A$122 billion) annually in wasted time in the US alone, or USD$10 million  (A$14.5 billion) every hour of every day, reinforcing that complex systems continue to be a major financial strain.

IT professionals report that they have an average of 14 different applications available on their work computer, but only actively use half of them—meaning half are simply a distraction that lowers overall system performance. Almost every IT professional (94%) says that their company could benefit from reducing overall software contracts, while seven in ten (71%) say their company would benefit from simpler software.

Over half (54%) say their organisation pays for SaaS features that their IT teams never use and 40% say too much of their tech stack is hard to use. In addition, 45% say their organisation spends too much on its tech stack, while over one-third (34%) believe their company doesn’t know how to stop paying for unnecessary services.

Almost unanimously, IT pros are not satisfied with their company software. Nearly nine in 10 (89%) IT pros said they have frustrations with their company’s software, with the leading reasons being: it slows down their work (35%), it lacks flexibility (33%) and it requires multiple programs to do their job effectively (30%), but more worryingly is bad software also hurts work performance and morale.

One-third of IT workers (36%) say being forced to use outdated legacy software makes them want to quit their job. Eight in 10 (82%) IT pros are burnt out and more than one-third (36%) say they are the most burnt out they’ve ever been with 42% reporting that easier-to-use software would help reduce their burnout.

Global supply chain disruptions are putting increased pressure on the retail industry to find efficiencies and better equip employees to serve customers, according to Freshworks Australia and New Zealand director and country manager, Ben Pluznyk.

“The industry must move quickly to retain its often transient workforce, comprised largely of casual, Gen Z employees, who want to be able to interact easily with their work software. Retail businesses should provide a consumer-like experience for their employees which will in turn, better cater to their customers,” he said.