Jul 21st 2009

Hard Workers or Smart Information Workers

Technologies have evolved, and so did the techniques, to work with tons and tons of information and extract critical, meaningful and useful data out of it using the tools available with the workers. They did the mining manually and presented the data in the desired format. Today CIOs, Product Managers, Quality In charge, Marketing Head, Sales Executive or anyone in the business who in some or the other way responsible for generating either more business or cutting down the cost prefers to know about the “Numbers – Sales Crossed, Clients Met, Products Sold, Revenue Earned or Lost, New Clients etc. Thanks to the competition, that at least people started capturing their day to day happenings (data).

“A Worker, from a leading Health Care Industry, claimed that with the entire arrangement of information flowing around and documents moving with a prescribed and scheduled workflow, Now I can concentrate more on the outcome of the result from the data and not only invest my maximum time in collecting the data. I saved 35% of my time every week now.”

People within the organizations have deployed and got accustomed to their own way of capturing information. Various tools and techniques have been introduced over the years and even a medium to large sized organization land up extracting information from more than 2-3 LOB applications, or sometimes it is just couple of Worksheets and Documents or may be dozen of Emails. So What? At least we have the scattered data – it’s only a matter of collecting it at one place – re organizing it and then making a final presentable report.

The point I am trying to bring here is that we tend to become the hard workers instead of smart workers. We work around the Management Information System (MIS) only instead of making it a Functional and Operational System or Portal. The shortcoming could be clearly seen in the making of a single sharable and interactive platform based system itself.

One of the major reasons I think is the behavioral aspect in adopting new things. An information collector has been using the same format (almost that the column and rows keep changing) over the years and now suddenly if he is asked to enter data in a List Library running over the extranet SharePoint portal – will surely show a reluctance. But the designer and the manager understands that if all the 70 people from different locations enter the data on the portal, the real time information is available to the concerned people immediately and reports can be presented, modified, printed etc.

Most of our efforts while creating a LOB application go in organizing the Database, Designing the Roles & Security and Permissions, writing a file upload, check in-out, mechanism, creating a Document Management system, Generating a Content Management System for our own Website, Exposing our application to the partners – Clients, managing Internal as well as external milestones etc. Fortunately for an Information Worker, it does take very less time to achieve all this mentioned above and do more.

This is possible because the Information Worker has adapted to the new and innovative way of working with Microsoft Office System. For a layman, it won’t be very wrong to state that – you still get to work with your choice of tools like word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, PDF etc but you get all these over the web and now it can be shared very conveniently.

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