‘Bridging the Information Work Productivity Gap: New Challenges and Opportunities for IT’ is a white paper made available to the public by IDC, sponsored by Adobe.
Research conducted in 2012 with information workers and IT professionals resulted in interesting findings. There was a trend for a about $20,000 worth of work productivity being lost as a direct result of problems with the systems and tools businesses used.
Broadly speaking the solution suggested in the executive summary says ‘tools and best practices that make them (workers) more productive in the following areas’
- Creating and managing documents
- Collaborating around documents and working with forms
- Working with documents on mobile devices
Irrespective of electronic or hardcopy lost productivity was a result of many reasons more to do with the way people worked with and together around documents. An entire section titled Persistence of Paper Documents a Contributor comes as no surprise. According to the responses, 25% of time spent dealing with documents is in the paper form. So of course problems are going to occur when using such an archaic system.
Trends have emerged for those who participated in the study where they want to be able to use a mobile device to help manage their document responsibilities. A number of them were already constantly connected to email but digital signatures were a big ‘want’ for people able to sign documents on the go.
The report is interesting and it only takes constant users of electronic documents and die hard fans of the paperless office concept to utter ‘but of course PDF can help’ or ‘this can be done with Google Docs so easily’. Some positives are that document automation and other technologies have reduced paper to a point where it is only used 1/4th of the time. As always there is still room to improve with the right tools and practices put into place of course.