Knowledge workers need better tools

A new survey has found that global information workers are frustrated by a lack of advanced   communications tools.

Knowledge and information workers around the world said they believed more advanced tools, including unified communications and video collaboration, would help them be more productive, yet less than a third has access to these tools.

Alcatel-Lucent conducted the research among nearly 2 000 knowledge workers and more than 750 information technology executives from medium-to large-size organizations in 51 countries.

The findings indicated that the global workforce is struggling to keep up with high volumes of communications and needs access to better technology tools to effectively communicate and collaborate.

74% of workers believe advanced communication technology could significantly increase their productivity and engagement yet less than one-third of these individuals claim to have access to the technologies they need to perform their jobs successfully.

Respondents specifically expressed frustration with virtual meeting tools that were considered inadequate, highlighting the need for more intuitive collaboration tools that enable workers to share knowledge more efficiently. In addition, more than half the workers surveyed believed the various communications channels need to be better coordinated so that conversations could span multiple people, media and devices, for example, escalating a business process from a text message to a video collaboration session.

Not surprisingly, 74% of the workers surveyed use smartphones, and nearly all of the IT organizations reported that they supported smartphone platforms. The technologies identified as being important include unified communications, video conferencing and collaboration, instant messaging and internal social networking.

Significantly, the study also found that while IT organizations have made strides in meeting workforce demands— and recognize the need for advanced communications and collaboration services— many are hindered by legacy infrastructure.

The study found that IT organizations are increasingly seeking unified management tools that span users, devices, applications, and infrastructure from a single platform. Some 57% of the IT executives indicated they would gain significant savings by replacing their current IT management systems with a tool that allowed them to manage users in a unified manner and provide communications and applications to them as services though any device.

“ It is clear that innovations in consumer communications are impacting exchanges in the workplace. Today, both workers and IT organizations clearly recognize the need for improved communications and collaboration, but both are grappling with obstacles,” said Arnaud Kraaijvanger, Vice President Marketing, Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise.

“ Knowledge workers need better tools, and IT departments need easy and cost effective ways to deploy and manage. A key take-away here is that organizations that figure out how to roll out advanced systems will reap tremendous productivity benefits.”

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