Information Glut Threatens to Smother Businesses
The deluge of information as a result of ubiquitous, sophisticated enterprise technologies can overwhelm companies and the employees who work for them, Bill Gates commented during his keynote address at Microsoft’s 10th annual CEO Summit, which was attended by more than 100 chief executives.
Of course, this fact probably has long been known to IT professionals and even non-technical personnel who have to juggle an increasing number of e-mails, phone calls and files each day in addition to other job-related tasks. But as Gates’ remarks indicate, business leaders are starting to become more aware of these circumstances too, and are reaching the conclusion that this isn’t good for productivity.
The solution, according to the Microsoft founder, is greater search functionality within technologies like e-mail, as well as forums for fluid collaboration and communication among the workforce.
Although Gates’ statements were made in the context of a soft sales pitch of sorts for the new Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, he definitely has a point. Technology has to serve the information and the user, not the other way around. I would only add that employers need to be sure that their workers have the judgement to understand what information is important, what’s peripheral and what’s a waste of time altogether, which also means more training, development and hands-on experience.