Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/08/05/productivity_and_tech/

End user productivity: is technology a help or a hindrance?

The need to look beyond IT

By Martha Bennett

Posted in Software, 5th August 2011 08:54 GMT

Reg Research Judging by the number of supporting technologies that are available, and the claims made for their efficacy, end user productivity issues have long been a thing of the past. But we all know that in real life, it isn’t like that at all. The question remains, though: to what extent can technology help address productivity issues, and at what point does it start getting in the way?

To find out, we asked Reg readers for their views on what ‘productivity’ means to them, what technologies they’re using (or not, as the case may be), how well their organisations were doing, and what they felt was needed to improve things.

Not surprisingly, we got a wide range of opinions, in particular on a number of specific technologies and their ability to enhance productivity. While mobile email, for example, is regarded as essential by the majority, the jury still seems to be out on some other technologies, such as video and web conferencing solutions and desktop virtualisation.

But we also found a high degree of consensus on what constitutes ‘productivity’, what works and what doesn’t, and what should be done about it. The emphasis for many remains on the ‘should’, though: while there’s a strong sense of recognition of what’s wrong, there’s an equally strong sense that nothing much is going to happen. That’s not a good place to be, given that few organisations are doing well when it comes to supporting employee productivity; and it’s not going to get any easier – changes in working patterns and the creeping ‘consumerisation’ of IT are all adding to the challenge.

To find out more about how technology is used to support productivity today, and what can – and needs – to be done to improve things, read the latest Reg reader research report by Freeform Dynamics entitled “End User Productivity Revisited”. You can download it from here.