Simplifying Work – Why Don’t Companies Get It?

By Angèle Boyd, IDC

Content for this paper is excerpted based on insights from the IDC iView “The Role of Documents: How They Drive Business, Today and Tomorrow,” December 2012, sponsored by Xerox. The multimedia content can be viewed here.


I am the classic iWorker in a large company and I heard this week about software that tells what percentage of your workday is productive. The reporter of the piece found her productivity was about average, between 65-75 percent. I’d like to believe I am above average but suspect I am not because of all the time it takes me to navigate work in the new IT era.

There are many factors in my everyday work life that contribute to that 25-35 percent of lost productivity for iWorkers like me.

iWorkers have so many ways to collaborate, it makes our heads spin. There’s Salesforce Chatter, Webex, cloud sharing services, team rooms, IM, email.  How many of us remember where to find that useful bit of information we saw a few weeks or months ago? How many of us know how to retrieve past IM trails, some of them chock full of important details? How many of us can find valuable content we saw a while back in Salesforce Chatter, whether it’s in a discussion thread or within an attachment? How many of us build our own systems on top of those so we can find what we need, when we need it?

What about the numerous financial tracking systems in many companies that don’t communicate with each other seamlessly – leaving workers spending hours cutting, pasting, and worse, re-keying inputs from disparate systems to create dashboards?

Years ago, a study found a huge number of silos or content repositories within companies. Little has changed. Silos are alive and well, and now we have two versions – on-premise and cloud-based, with no good solutions to bridge across them. There is talk about federated search, business process management software, and bridging the paper and digital divide with intelligent capture.

I am not suggesting there are easy solutions. But too many companies put on blinders to the huge costs and missed revenue opportunities associated with siloed information, and assume it is too expensive or too complex to fix.

Only after a major crisis like a security breach is action taken.   And even then, the reaction is often to take a short-sighted or piecemeal approach, such as a software solution for the call center or the accounting department,  instead of a holistic, systematic, end-to-end approach.

Smart companies that outperform their peers appreciate how technology can provide competitive advantage. These companies seek solution providers that will partner with them, starting with a needs assessment, followed by a strategic plan, implementation and continuous improvement.

It is through such a systematic approach that companies can actually simplify work, making iWorkers like me more productive.

Watch How the Future of Documents Will Drive Business:

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What do you think would increase iWorker productivity?


This content is sponsored by Xerox. The content is the author’s opinion and does not necessarily reflect the views of Xerox.


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  1. Thomas July 7, 2013 - Reply

    Getting 100 per cent out of a worker is a unreal expectation . You can see that out put on brick and mortar jobs . But how do you really measure out put on retail work, sales ?
    Not ,because there is down time ,standing looking to see there work area, fixing up ,cleaning ,puting things that customers have move. How do you calculate cost of labor for that work, vs a checker. The store manager job really is peancounter per say. He is also a example for good job performance to his work team, and if he has poor work habits guess what kind of workers he has. It’s. not just math that explains Cost of doing ,there is the human factor.

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