How Can Information Technology Improve Productivity?

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The past few decades have seen huge changes in the world of information technology and some strong increases in productivity as a result. Computers and computer technology have changed the way we work and have allowed us to be more productive on the job. From front-line service workers and salespeople in the field to CEOs and business owners, everyone in the business world has benefited from information technology in one way or another.

  1. Working from Anywhere

    • One of the most significant impacts information technology has made on productivity is that it allows employees to work from anywhere. Employees who were once forced to spend an hour or more each day commuting to a distant office can now log on and work from the comfort of their homes or even from the beach if they are so inclined. Remote access has come a long way in a relatively short period of time, and the stability of the new products allows workers to be just as productive--or even more so--than they would be in the office.

      This remote access technology also allows companies to benefit in a number of important ways. First there is the cost savings associated with lower office space requirements and lower leasing costs. There is also the greater employee satisfaction and morale that working at home can provide. Finally the technology involved can boost productivity as workers spend what would have otherwise been their commuting time working and helping their employers succeed.

    Working More Efficiently

    • Only a short time ago, processing paper documents required at least one person to file the paper documents, another person to keep those files organized and up to date and still another group of employees to go through the files looking for the information needed by the business. Advances in information technology now allow all paper documents to be scanned into a central database, where a single employee can easily search for just the records that are needed by the organization. Work that once required an office full of employees can now be accomplished by one or two dedicated workers.

      This ability to streamline operations is one of the keys to the productivity gains that information technology has provided over the last two decades. The last twenty years have seen incredible gains in the productivity of the average worker and much of the increase can be attributed to the growing importance of information technology in the workplace.

    Exponential Storage Gains

    • When considering the impact information technology has had and continues to have on productivity, we cannot overlook the importance of falling storage prices. The price per gigabyte,of storage has fallen sharply in recent years and that lower price has allowed companies to keep more of their data online for longer periods of time.

      When the price of hard drive and magnetic media storage was higher, companies were limited in terms of how much data could be retained at any one time, but with prices of storage media declining so sharply, those same companies can now keep years' worth of data on hand. That means far fewer man-hours spent tracking down old data, resulting in strong productivity gains and a more efficient workplace.

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