Magazine article Management Today

Micro Myopia

Magazine article Management Today

Micro Myopia

Article excerpt

What have been the biggest deterrents to your use of IT? (Respondents

could pick up to three items)

Insufficient time to learn                            58%
Poor training/support                                 31%
Budgetary constraints                                 31%
Lack of keyboard skills                               22%
Lack of access to computer                            19%
Poor systems                                          14%
Nothing                                                9%
Lack of interest/apathy                                6%
No uses for it in my job                               4%
Other                                                  5%

Do your consider that the IT currently employed in your

organisation is used to its full potential?

Yes, it is used to potential                           6%
Adequate, but some scope for improvement              42%
Considerable scope for improvement                    49%
Other                                                  1%
Don't know                                             2%

In which activities do you personally find IT most useful?

(Respondents could pick up to two only)

Monitoring/reviewing performance                      44%
Planning/forecasting/budgeting                        46%
Producing documents                                   53%
Communicating with others                             14%
Other                                                  3%
Don't know                                             2%

Would you say that IT is now:

Fundamental to your job                               34%
Important in your job                                 41%
Supports job in the background                        19%
Largely peripheral to your job                         4%
Don't know                                             2%

What do you most like about the impact of IT on your job/work?

(Respondents could pick up to two)

Speeds up tasks                                       62%
Enables me to do things I could not do before         49%
Allows me to focus on priorities                      22%
Enables better communication with colleagues          16%
Makes job more interesting                            12%
Other                                                  3%
Don't know                                             3%
Has improved morale in my work area                    2%
Nothing, no impact                                     2%

British managers are using computers in the worst possible way--to automate manual processes rather than to change work patterns and business practice. An exclusive survey by Management Today has r evealed that although 76% of managers have direct use of screens and keyboards -- a higher number than was previously thought to be the case -- only 6% believe that the machines are being used to maximum effect in their organizations. Half of those questioned say there is substantial scope for improvement. In most cases, IT is used merely to speed up routine tasks, rather than as a competitive weapon. The inevitable conclusion is that unless companies make a major switch towards more creative applications, such as linking managers in electronic work-groups, tracking customer buying habits and monitoring the market position of their rivals, many will not survive to the end of the decade.

The survey, carried out in conjuction with Microsoft, the US software house, questioned more than 1,500 members of the British Institute of Management. It set out to discover how individual managers felt that IT affected their jobs, and whether computers were a useful tool. Only 18% of those surveyed were under 40, but, interestingly, few differences emerged between the attitudes of the younger and older age-groups.

Among the survey's most disturbing findings is that managers are isolated, short-sighted and unimaginative in their use of IT. …

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