Times have changed, technology needs to follow

Professionals call for technological solutions following shift to knowledge work
By
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 05/04/2006

Canadian professionals see a shift in Canada’s business environment, which demands workers do less paper pushing and more analysis and collaboration, according to a new survey.

The survey by Ipsos Reid and Microsoft Canada of 1,760 Canadian professionals, found that 86 per cent feel they are being asked to take on higher levels of responsibility when it comes to strategic decisions, calculating risks, providing analysis and developing and running complex projects at all levels of an organization.

Nearly all of those polled, 98 per cent, said given the higher levels of responsibility at work they need the right technological tools to increase productivity, reduce costs and increase revenue.

“The single largest area where organizations can help improve their productivity is in how their greatest assets – their employees – leverage information systems to work together,” said Mike Butler, product manager, Microsoft Office Systems, Microsoft Canada. “In this new world of work that includes rapid change, IT departments need to ensure they are providing the collaborative infrastructure that employees are demanding.”

It’s not just Microsoft that believes collaboration is key to business success. Eighty-six per cent of Canadian professionals agreed that working in teams is more important to business success than it was five years ago. On average professionals are spending five hours each day collaborating with colleagues and clients for work.

When asked to identify the kinds of technological tools they would like to see, information workers picked the following from a list:

• Forty per cent want the ability to share documents within a common workspace, allowing colleagues to check documents in and out and work from one central version while enabling everyone to communicate about the project in real time.

• Thirty-two per cent would like the ability to automatically create and update business processes, forms, reports and documents using the latest back-end IT system, or network, and make the information available through familiar desktop tools

• Twenty per cent want the ability to control how incoming communications are routed to users (i.e. e-mail, phone, instant messaging, text messaging, video conferencing and web conferencing) based on the system’s knowledge of personal preferences, physical location, organizational relationship and topic of communication.

• Seven per cent would like only the least expensive basic word processing, presentation and spreadsheet software.

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