Network outages, low-speed, biggest tech problem, survey finds

Chat is a surprisingly unpopular productivity-enhancer in the workplace, and tablets aren’t particularly efficiency-creating among the surprise findings in a new survey.

aged lead image
Credit: By Leon Brooks [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Almost a third (31%) of workplace tech-users said that network outages and poor Internet speeds were the “biggest recurring technology problem” at their company, a new survey has found.

Remembering passwords was also a big issue. Close to a quarter (22%) of the respondents thought remembering all of their passwords was the biggest tech difficulty they faced.

IT service management company Samanage surveyed about 3,000 U.S. adults. Around half of them said they used technology at work. Those respondents were given the study’s questions.

Less problematic, but still a big issue, was restricted access to websites, files and software. Workers didn’t like that type of limitation and said it was a technology problem.

Fourteen percent had issues with the curtailment. They reckoned that it was the biggest tech issue that faced them.

Also some employees were quite happy to take software downloading matters into their own hands, particularly males, the study found.

Almost one in five employees (18%) confessed to “downloading and using an app without IT knowledge,” the report says.

“The number of men (23%) who admitted to bringing in outside IT applications was nearly twice as high as the number of women (12%),” Samanage discovered.

Younger folk, such as Millennials, were more likely to perform shadow IT, too. The IT service company found that almost a quarter of the group (23%) download apps without IT management approval.

Samanage also looked at productivity. It says it’s calculated that American enterprise wastes $1.8 trillion annually because of “outdated technology hindering workplace productivity.”

In this particular survey, it says it’s found that a third (36%) think their company’s technology is “outdated.”

That number rises the younger the respondent, with 40% of the Millennials thinking that the tech was old hat.

However, even with the latest gear, productivity could be thwarted. Tablets, it found, surprisingly, weren’t particularly productivity-creating.

Only 5% of the respondents thought tablets helped them “be the most productive.”

But as one might expect, the computer was the most popular productivity-creator with half (51%) of all of the respondents giving it the nod as most productive technology available to them.

E-mail came in second, at 14%, and the smartphone third at 11%. Worryingly, below that, at 10%, was the company’s own applications or software.

Another surprising find was that chat wasn’t used much at work. In fact, it was the least frequently-used collaborative tech. Only 7.2% used it frequently.

And chat’s user base became more dismal the older the user group was. Only 2% of the respondents older than the age of 65 used it frequently.

Much more popular was, of course, e-mail with a whopping 63% saying that they used it most frequently.

Things could be improved, some thought. Twenty-percent said non-essential tasks should be automated; and 12% wanted mobile devices.

Rounding out that list was cloud apps, scheduling notifications, and way down at 7% was chat.

Forty percent of the respondents answered with: “I don’t know,” when asked how productivity could be improved with technology.

That was the biggest response to that question. And where we come in.

This article is published as part of the IDG Contributor Network. Want to Join?

Join the Network World communities on Facebook and LinkedIn to comment on topics that are top of mind.
Related:
Must read: Hidden Cause of Slow Internet and how to fix it
Notice to our Readers
We're now using social media to take your comments and feedback. Learn more about this here.