A Day In The Life Of An Information Worker

Ted Schadler

Ted-Schadler by Ted Schadler

How do information workers -- people that use computers or smartphones in their job -- spend their days?

We set out to answer that question using our new Workforce Technographics(R) data. In our launch survey to understand how regular people use computers, smartphones, and applications to get their work done, we surveyed 2,001 people in the US with jobs in which they use a computer. We asked about all kinds of things, including how much time they spend with their computers and phones, which applications they use daily or even hourly, what applications they find indispensable, whether they work mostly with other employees or with customers or partners, and much more.

Our first report is a quick snapshot of a day in the life of an information worker (iWorker). (We'll be sharing a lot more data at a Webinar on Thursday at 11 AM ET; register here.) For example, did you know that:

  • Gen X (not Gen Y) is the most likely to use Web 2.0 technology to get their job done?

  • Smartphones are available to only 11% of US information workers?

  • Email is still the only application used on an hourly basis by most iWorkers?

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Analysis from Microsoft TechEd 2009 - Take 1

Gen Y and the Future of the Workplace: Recapping Our Discussion With Forrester Clients

TJ Keitt

Followers of my posts on this blog have seen a consistent theme: what does the influx of young workers mean for the present and future business world? Yesterday afternoon my colleagues Clarie Schooley and Heidi Shey joined me in hosting 82 Forrester clients for an open and frank discussion on this topic. The conversation, which included participants across the age spectrum, was spirited and landed on a few broad concepts:

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Consumer Market Research Techniques: A Primer For IT Professionals

Ted Schadler

Ted-Schadler by Ted Schadler

Employees are people, too.They just don't look like you. At least most of them don't. To understand what your workforce needs from technology and from you, you have to walk a mile in their shoes.

That's hard to do -- not to mention darn uncomfortable at times! But it is possible to get to know your workforce by grouping them by who they are and what they need from you. There are three techniques that consumer market researchers have developed over the last 40 years to do just that:

  1. Surveys to analyze and segment the workforce. This is step one and something that we'll drill into more detail on over the next few blog posts. Asking good questions, making sure everybody's represented, doing analysis that helps you answer your key questions, this is where the best analysis begins. You'll come up with segments like "technology enthusiasts" and "road warriors."

  2. Focus groups to bring the segments to life. Once the segments are identified, you can invite 5 or 6 people to come in and talk about what they do and what they need from technology. This gives you the "why" and the "how" to go along with the "what" that the survey and segmentation provide. With focus groups, a road warrior starts to look like a real person.

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Gen Y’s Effect On Business Social Technology Isn’t As Big As Some Have Said

TJ Keitt

Here’s a funny finding: The youngest members of the workforce aren’t the drivers of social technology use in business. How can this be? Haven’t we been told that the generation that made MySpace and Facebook popular would be the one that dragged stodgy, old companies kicking and screaming into a 21st century where corporate hierarchy is flattened through Web 2.0? Don’t companies need to adopt wikis and blogs in order to recruit and retain Gen Yers? Well, the early returns say the answer is, “no.”

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The Millennials, The Next Power Generation in the Workforce

Claire Schooley

Claire, in her podcast, discusses the rise of the millenial in  the workforce - and strategies for most effectively using their skills.

http://a964.g.akamaitech.net/f/964/714/1h/www.forrester.com/role_based/images/author/imported/forresterDotCom/Podcasts/BPA/ClaireSchooley_Millenials.mp3

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How Tech Vendors Should Approach Green IT

Chris Mines

Christopher Mines [Posted by Christopher Mines]

My colleague Doug Washburn and I did a Forrester Webinar yesterday for tech vendor clients & prospects. We closed with 6 takeaways for tech vendors seeking to capitalize on the mega-trend of sustainability adoption by their corporate customers:

  1. Corporate sustainability is here to stay; green IT is not a fad or a fashion.
  2. Energy efficiency is important for all IT assets, not just the data center.

  3. Enterprises implementing green IT need process change and consulting support, not just new hardware and software.

  4. Vendors must market their green solutions with a holistic vision and a tactical implementation path.
  5. Green IT has many customer stakeholders, each with a different view of its priority and benefits. VEndors must be multi-lingual in developing conversations with these stakeholders.

  6. Be clear about the cost-benefit arithmetic. Help customers build their business case with ROI numbers that are clear, simple, and complete.

Survey Your Workforce To Understand Their Technology Needs

Ted Schadler

Ted-Schadler by Ted Schadler

Go to a baseball game and look around. Do the fans all look like you? Do they want what you want or think how you think or feel the way you feel about stuff? Nope. Baseball fans are diverse, unique, different, special. They have only one thing in common: They like baseball.

It's the same at work. Your workforce is just as diverse, unique, different, special. They have only one thing in common: They work for the same organization.

It's a simple but profound observation: Most people aren't like you. You can't apply your own thinking or feeling to them. For example, they don't necessarily like technology. They might avoid technology because it scares or mystifies them. They could stick with what they know until someone forces them to switch.

Need proof? Half of all information workers are pessimistic about technology. Only 1 in 4 uses instant messaging. 62% aren't fully satisfied with their word processor.

On the other hand, the other half of information workers are optimistic about technology. And some employees are wildly enthusiastic about technology. They bring their own smartphones to work -- and use them to work from every location. They use social network sites for work. They spends hours each day in love with their work devices and tools.

But which employees are enthusiastic and which are reluctant users of technology? After all, they aren't all in one job function or business group. The list of questions goes on:

  • How can you be sure your software licenses aren't money wasted?

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Cutting IT spend is in vogue in Asia Pacific - even for those companies getting an increased IT budget!

Tim Sheedy

I recently completed a report comparing the movements and trends in IT budgets across different countries across the Asia Pacific region. The general finding of the report was that although IT budgets are down on average, there is a chasm appearing between the "haves and have nots" for IT spend. In summary, while the average decrease in IT budget decrease is around 5%, of those companies getting an increased IT budget, their spend increased by between 15-20% on average, and for those receiving an IT budget cut, the decrease was often around 20%. The decisive factor on the direction of the IT budget was often the level of exposure to the global financial crisis. Those with a high level have seen the highest budget cuts, those with low levels of exposure (or those profiting from the crisis) are seeing increases or flat IT budgets.

But as is often the case with statistics, they do not tell the entire story. What is becoming clear is that even those companies with increased IT budgets are looking to decrease their IT spend in as many areas as possible. Much of the interest in the region in cloud computing has actually come from the public sector - one of the sectors that has been relatively sheltered from the slowdown in IT spend. Virtualisation is on the agenda for nearly all companies, as they look to make better use of the hardware that they already have.

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IT To BT Transition: Threats And Opportunities For CIOs

George Lawrie

Forrester has published extensive research about the transition from IT to BT, but two recent announcements demonstrate the threats and opportunities for CIOs:

As IT becomes the sole means of standardizing and executing functions as diverse as logistics and customer service, CIOs should keep in mind that:

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