Digital Drudgery

Think back to the last time your workflow came to an abrupt halt. Was the file you needed on a colleague’s hard drive and they weren’t available? Did the perfect piece of information come to mind, but was buried in one of several possible reports? Did you need to launch a specific mobile app and forgot your password? Welcome to digital drudgery. How did we get here?

The business world is in the throes of digital transformation. Executives are directing their teams to deploy automation and productivity apps, as well as investing in other digital solutions to improve customer experiences and optimize operations. Companies’ adaptability to compete depends on it—and it’s working. More than half (63%) of executives surveyed for Deloitte’s State of AI in the Enterprise survey say AI initiatives are helping them catch up with competitors or even open a narrow lead.

That’s the good news. Here’s the bad news: they’re leaving workers behind. Enterprise employees, with more work to do than ever, are stuck in a world of digital drudgery, hindered by the technology that is supposed to make them more productive. Use of enterprise apps and productivity tools is surging. On average, we use a minimum of five apps – at once! – each with different interfaces, logins, processes, and update schedules. And according to recent research by software vendor Pegasystems, employees use 35 different tools a day, switching back and forth more than 1,100 times. We’re losing a minimum of one to two hours of productivity weekly searching for information or completing what should be simple tasks.

The scary part is that many of us have accepted digital drudgery as status quo. We have more tools than ever, but that isn’t translating into productivity gains. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, we’re only getting about 1.4% more productive per year, the lowest growth rate in 30 years and the second lowest since the middle of last century.

It’s time to break free. Employees can’t keep pace with the speed of business now and it will continue to accelerate, led by companies with superior access to AI. In companies where employees remain “unaugmented” they won’t be able to read fast enough, find needed answers and documents, keep up with the app sprawl, effectively coordinate with colleagues, or quickly make correct data-driven decisions.

The statistics are staggering, especially when you see them side-by-side.. Businesses are generating data and information at incredible rates, which employees are expected to consume, understand, and analyze at speed. One of Pryon’s engagements in the healthcare industry reports that the information medical professionals need to do their jobs doubles every 72 days. At the same time, employees have trouble managing the data they already have; struggling with information currently accounts for about 30% of knowledge worker time, an incredible tax.

Pryon is on a mission to eradicate digital drudgery. As always the first step is awareness. How much digital drudgery do you endure and what are you doing about it?