Can IT Increase Productivity?

Whether I'm at a networking event, sitting down with clients, or talking with a prospect, I spend a lot of my time surrounded by executives. While this is certainly a diverse bunch, I feel that it's fair to make one generalization: executives love productive employees. And it makes sense—more and more, it seems as though there just aren't enough hours in the day.
Naturally, then, I'm often asked if technology services (and technology in general) can help get users working at Mach 3 speed.

My answer is “yes,” but with a very important caveat:

IT is a tool.

Like with any tool, the mere possession of it won’t magically make an expert of you; if I give a baby a wrench, it’s not going to turn him into a master plumber.
A master plumber, however, wouldn’t be able to get very far without a wrench.
In other words, IT in itself cannot make your employees more efficient, but it is a necessary ingredient in creating an office environment that fosters happy and productive workers and not, well, these kinds of workers:
It’s not just a matter of making technology available to your employees—your technology should be crafted in a way that takes into account what tasks you’re asking your employees to complete, and how your employees work.  If your AP/AR specialist needs to work from home, for example, you need to implement a reliable solution that allows them to access your billing software remotely.
If you’re concerned that your IT isn’t making your employees more productive, take a moment to ask them about it; the end user knows far better than anyone else if IT is working for them, and where they feel as though there are gaps that need to be filled.
There are, of course, several standard practices that make work flow more quickly across the board: dual monitors, internal instant messaging systems, and scanners on each employee’s desk. These keep you from having to run around your office or managing tab after tab after tab of information on your screen.
But the real trick here is matching the bolt diameter to the proper wrench, and putting it in the hands of a skilled worker with a reliable means of travel, access to material resources, capable team members, and some good old fashioned encouragement.
[xyz-ihs snippet="1"]Want to know what to look for, or what to ask your employees to gauge technology and productivity? Email me![xyz-ihs snippet="2"]