An article in the New York Times by Steve Lohr this week highlights an unexpected fact: We’re spending more on technology than ever before, and yet our productivity is NOT increasing as expected.
The article points out that technology spending over the last decade has increased 54%, and yet business productivity from 2011 to 2015, as measured by the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics, is unimpressive at best:
If we’re spending so much on technology – the article specifically highlights electronic health records and other healthcare technology but certainly other areas, including cloud computing, have become prominent in this time – why are we not seeing an increase in productivity?
In the article the author discusses various economists view of why the increase in technology isn’t increasing productivity -some argue technology just isn’t as beneficial as other historical breakthroughs such as electricity or cars.
Other economists – termed “technology optimists” by the author, argue that there is a lag between when technology arrives and when people learn to use it effectively. “The gains from current tech trends…..will come. Just wait.”
T&D professionals however know that waiting isn’t the answer – learning is!
Studies show a positive correlation between training and productivity, particularly when dealing with new tools such as Office 365 or Electronic Health Records. A recent study showed that workers with training specific to their job are 23% more productive than workers without similar training.
The sooner you can include new technologies into a company-wide training program, the sooner those productivity gains will come.
A recent Forrester study showed that companies implementing Office 365 showed a 154% ROI on their Office 365 investment plus other benefits, including being 17% faster at making decisions, reduced spending on technology, compliance, and support, and increased productivity equivalent to 30 minutes per day per employee.
However – those benefits only come when employees understand how to use the tools they’re given. That’s the job of a strong internal training program, including training on the tools and technologies employees are expected to use in their jobs.