Monday, 29 June 2020 17:31

Inadequate tools contribute to information overload

By
OpenText APAC vice president Albert Nel OpenText APAC vice president Albert Nel

A survey conducted by information management vendor OpenText suggests fewer but better digital tools might improve Australians' productivity and reduce their stress levels during the coronavirus crisis.

OpenText surveyed 1,000 Australians during April and May as part of a wider international research project.

41% said the number of information sources – email, news feeds, diaries, social media sites, company drive, shared drive, etc. – they check each day has increased in the last five years. On average, 17% now use more than ten accounts, tools and apps every day.

And 41% (we're guessing it wasn't the same 41%) of working respondents said they can limit the number of tools, apps and resources they access to complete a work project to three or fewer.

The diversity of sources appears to affect productivity. 31% typically spend more than a minute searching for a specific file or piece of information for work purposes, and inly a quarter (26%) can usually do it in less than ten seconds.

Apart from wasting time, this situation is affecting wellbeing, especially when working from home. 17% say they are stressed by information overload across devices, 8% per cent feel they can't unplug and are dealing with information 24/7, and 7% are overwhelmed by the number of data sources and apps they need to check each day.

More than a third (34%) of those with office-based jobs do not feel equipped with the digital tools to effectively shift their work to a remote environment.

13% say access issues (eg, email and file systems) is the main problem, 17% point to collaborating and sharing information and files with colleagues is would be their biggest challenge, and 29% admit to sharing work-related files via personal file sharing systems such as Dropbox – despite the security and compliance issues that may raise.

"Poor information management has major implications for a business," said OpenText APAC vice president Albert Nel.

"Employee productivity can suffer as staff struggle with access issues whilst security can often become an afterthought as staff look for workarounds. With data often residing in multiple, disparate systems, an organisation's pursuit of a single version of the truth can become virtually impossible.

"The reality is manual classification and filing processes are error-prone. By implementing automation, businesses can make the most of their information and provide a seamless user experience for staff, customers and partners. This is even more crucial now as organisations adapt and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the business landscape."


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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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