Information Overload Syndrome is REAL!

·         Each year the amount of information created in the enterprise, paper and digital combined, grows faster than 65%.

·         Non-productive information work, such as reformatting documents or reentering documents into computers, consumed more than $1.5 trillion in U.S. salaries last year.

·         Survey respondents spend as much as 26% of their time trying to manage information overload.

·         Respondents split their time evenly between dealing with paper and digital information, but 71% prefer to deal with digital information.

·         The amount of time U.S. information workers spent last year managing paper-driven information overload cost $460 billion in salaries.

·         Reducing the time wasted dealing with information overload by 15% could save a company with 500 employees more than $2 million a year.

 

Sure, we poked fun and came up with a fake illness called IOS. 

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But when you look at these stats — Wow.  Maybe there is more truth in our humor than meets the eye.  These stats say just about everything there is to say about the cost and challenges of information overload and the price we as knowledge workers are paying on a daily basis.

 

I can’t take credit for coming up with all this research.  It’s all IDC’s work.  Today on this site, we are publishing a pretty comprehensive white paper that Xerox commissioned IDC to work on.  What is contained in the 12 page report are some great insights into the problem, but also some solid suggestions on what to do about it and where to start if you are serious about fixing the problem.

 

So take a few minutes and check it out. 

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8 Comments

  1. Deepak Seth June 15, 2009 - Reply

    What has the impact of the Economic Recession been on Information Overload ? Is there a correlation ? or does IO show an inelasticity as far as economic activity is concerned ?

    Also as most organizations cut staff are they actually eliminating Non-productive information work, such as reformatting documents or reentering documents into computers or is some proportion of just being deferred for when the economy recovers (piles of paper waiting to be scanned etc.)

    Has the IDC done some work related to managing IO in a recessionary environment ? Srategies/tactics for dealing with IO may differ in a recessionary environment vs. those in a static or growth environment.

  2. Atle Iversen June 15, 2009 - Reply

    Thank you for the white paper – very interesting !

    You wrote in a post last year (Tech industry is at fault) that what you wanted “is for someone in the tech industry to step up and offer something that helps the knowledge worker – the everyday Joe. Not the IT department. ”

    Well, as this post illustrates, the problem has not been solved, it has only become bigger !

    My company has just recently launched a new product aimed at making YOUR life easier; PpcSoft iKnow is a personal knowledge management tool that is VERY easy to use, but still powerful enough to help you with all the different fragments of information that are causing you information overload.

    Visit http://www.ppcsoft.com for more information

    (by posting here I’m pretty sure your 78-year old neighbor won’t get the same message as you 🙂

  3. KC July 6, 2009 - Reply

    One of my friends called me the ultimate multi-tasker, when in reality, at times I am completely overwhelmed by all the information I’m processing at any given moment.

  4. Deepak Seth July 6, 2009 - Reply

    Nice to see this blog “Information Sanity” showcased in the WSJ today:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124683648696297965.html

    Keep up the great work!!

  5. ussmith January 8, 2010 - Reply

    hi,
    good morning to all users,
    One of my friends called me the ultimate multi-tasker, when in reality, at times I am completely overwhelmed by all the information I’m processing at any given moment.

  6. Booyou March 15, 2010 - Reply

    I guess the guy from comments 3 and 5 felt a bit overwhelmed with all this information.

  7. Cheryl Hoover July 26, 2013 - Reply

    I am a librarian at Montana State University Billings. The librarians at our Library generally teach 3 to 4 sections of an online 3 credit course on information literacy that is titled, Research in the Information Age. This course is for undergraduate students, primarily in their first and second years of college. I am writing to ask permission to include a video you posted on the Xerox Blogs page into our course shells. To access the course material, students are required to login to their accounts. I very much hope you (or whoever the creator is) will grant the MSUB Library this permission or direct me to the appropriate person. Thank you.

  8. Falynne Finagan, Xerox July 26, 2013 - Reply

    Hi Cheryl,
    Thanks for reaching out. You are welcome to share our videos with your students, we only ask that you make a note in your course materials that says they were created by Xerox.

    Kind Regards,
    Falynne Finagan
    Editor, Xerox Real Business Blog

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