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, …
as I'm reading, and commenting on, this at work, I'd have to say that tech certainly buggers up productivity.
Who needs productivity when they can have outsourcing?
When the paperwork that used to take too much time is automated, then do you end up with more time to do real work? No, because now you can do much more paperwork. When the manager who used to get a report on last week next week now gets a report on yesterday last night, they can dream up 10 times as many reports to be required, and have more meetings to discuss it all. Corporate used to get quarterly reports by division now has day by day results available and wants to drill down to individuals (but not be overloaded!). Where someone used to send out a few memos a day, then dozens of faxes a day, they can now email hundreds of people a day (or "tweet" to thousands). We're all doing more, but are we being more productive? I don't think standard of living is improving anymore anyway, relation? Dragging society down with busy work, because we can?
There is no generic answer
It all depends on what you are trying to accomplish, how many people are involved, how complicated the work is, how susceptible it is to automation, how often requirements change...
A lot of trouble is caused by people who make sweeping declarations about these things one way or the other. It's quite conceivable that NHS patient records, for instance, may actually be less efficient than before they were computerised. Managing standard bank accounts, on the other hand, it enormously more efficient when computerised. Many activities, such as writing creative prose, fall somewhere in the middle - it's quicker and easier than longhand, or typing on a typewriter, but one crash that loses the only copy of your book can reduce your annual efficiency to zero.
Work faster dammit!
Basically the faster you process data the faster you get to the next set of data to be processed which is infinite because everyone wants their data processed faster in order to keep up/overtake their competitor. More stats SLA's up to the eyeballs. Keep that data churning. Even when you are not in the office, at home, on holiday. You must continue working. No time to rest when the information machine runs 24/7, 356 days a week.
The processor has become your master. Who says Skynet is coming? It's already here and ruling over every aspect of our lives!
In the 1970's I worked in a UK based car manufacturers spare parts division as a sysprog on their Sstem 360 mainframe. There was a huge section on one of the buildings filled with well over 100 accounts clerks pouring over the computer printouts.
I went back there contracting in the late 90's. That same area plus more was filled with outsourcing company IT staff. I expect by now all the IT has been offshored so I don't know staff that area will house now but I guarantee it will still be full. I doubt that the business has grown at all as vehicles are a lot more reliable these days.
Didn't somebody once say that the work expands to fit the tme available. They weren't wrong.
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