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5 Steps To Take To Raise Productivity

CIOs know the boss is depending on them to help pull the bottom line up. Here's how some are doing it.

If CEOs believe their companies can do better when it comes to business productivity, the CIOs and other business technologists who work for them have gotten the message.

In InformationWeek Research's most recent Priorities survey, completed in March, 87% of the 300 business-technology executives responding said boosting worker productivity across their companies was a key business priority. The only objective eliciting a higher response was the need to improve customer service.

So, how do you achieve the goal of higher productivity? A survey last fall by InformationWeek's sister publication, Optimize magazine, provides some answers. The five most effective technology steps companies have taken to raise worker productivity are, in order, deploying collaboration tools, boosting network performance, upgrading PCs, providing Internet access to more employees, and software training.

About two-thirds of survey respondents say productivity gains came by squeezing more efficiencies from IT systems, which can be partly explained by the clampdown on IT spending at many companies. Yet nearly a quarter credited investment in new, specialized technologies with giving their companies a boost.

Productivity gains were manifest as new ideas and opportunities, increased sales and production, reduced operating costs, and increased customer satisfaction at more than 80% of the companies surveyed by Optimize.

Business technologists believe their companies have made great progress but still have room for improvement. Eight in 10 respondents say their organizations' productivity is at an all-time high, but only 37% rate their companies as being extremely productive.

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