Knowledge workers continue to struggle to locate the information they need in a timely manner

[German title: Wissensarbeiter kämpfen immer noch damit benötigte Informationen in angemessener Zeit zu finden]

Economist Intelligence Unit:
Enterprise knowledge workers: Understanding risks and opportunities.
London u.a.: Economist Intelligence Unit (White Paper), November 2007

Abstract: Today’s business environment is defined by collaboration-intensive knowledge work. Technological advances in data-processing, telecommunications and interactive media—many associated with the paradigm known colloquially as “Web 2.0″—have fuelled rising expectations for productivity, responsiveness and ready access to data and information. In this environment, business processes straddle the virtual and the physical as geographic and cultural barriers grow increasingly permeable, new communications media proliferate, the volume of information mushrooms and the concept of time zones gives way to a universal expectation of 24×7 perpetual-motion productivity. As diagrammed on corporate whiteboards around the world, enterprise workflows today tend to resemble spiders’ webs rather than lines with simple bifurcations, as new technologies undo rigid hierarchical corporate structures and facilitate more direct and democratic modes of reporting, information-sharing and problem-solving.
In this new information technology (IT)-enabled enterprise environment, workers manage and have access to a broad range of unstructured information and data. Although this creates new opportunities for the enterprise, it also poses new challenges and risks. This paper examines the nature of collaboration-intensive knowledge work, the challenges posed by the current state of IT, the cost implications of these challenges, and the means by which enterprise workers can operate more efficiently and effectively.

Read the full white paper online.

© 2007 The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited. An Economist Group business. All rights reserved.

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